From the Principal

Celebrating International Women's Day


This week we celebrated International Women’s Day at the college, with various celebrations, involvement in community events and lots of students and staff wearing International Women’s Day ribbons to recognise this significant event. This day has fascinating beginnings as it emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Today it is celebrated as a day to recognise the achievements of all women regardless of their national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political background.


In recent years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make this day a rallying point to build support for women's rights and participation in the political and economic arenas. I can think of no better opportunity for our college community to recognise and stand up for the rights of women at local, national and international levels.

I was discussing this issue with one of my daughters recently and she sent me through an excellent article about International Women’s Day and some research on gender diversity in the STEM areas. The article points out that while International Women’s Day puts a spotlight on human rights issues concerning women, there is also a need for recognition that in the STEM areas, the participation of women in this area is alarmingly low. In short, the article argues that Australia needs to lift its act in creating gender diversity within the tech and innovation sector or face no longer being globally competitive in this area.

Sue MacLeman, the Chief Executive of MTPConnect, an advocacy body for the medtech, pharma and biotech sector states that “science is a great leveller and from a gender perspective we have some very smart women in STEM”. However, there is a dearth of women CEO’s or on the Boards of the various medtech, pharma and biotech industries. With a need to harness the talent and expertise of women, and more importantly, open opportunities for young women graduates in this area, much work needs to be done to ensure that gender diversity is front and centre in this industry.

I have attached a link to the article and I would highly recommend that you and your daughters not only read it but also discuss how our current reality might be changed into the future. I have three strong female advocates in my family who keep me aware of issues that I am not always aware of. I would recommend to all dads and brothers that they also seek expert advice from the women in their lives on issues that we are often blind to.

Have a great weekend.

Dr Pitt 

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