International Women’s Day is our chance to celebrate the achievements of women. The 2018 theme Press for Progress encourages us to discuss ways we can continue to push for gender equity. We spoke with some inspiring staff and students from across UTS – including senior leaders, academics, students and start-up founders – for their career insights and advice.
Best thing you've ever done for your career?
"A continued investment in my education. I'm a firm believer in lifelong education." Lan Snell, Director, Education Services for UTS Business School
"Taking calculated risks. Whenever I feel like I'm getting too comfortable in a job, let's say, I know how to do it, then it seems like it's time to move on." Margaret Petty, Executive Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Check out Margaret's latest Opinion piece from U magazine about empowering women through entrepreneurship
"Learn the value of being involved in networks and collaborating. To have a wide group of people helping me and advising me of where I should go, and to make sure there were lots of ideas coming in." Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, Deputy DVC (Research), Director of the Athena Swan project
Define a great leader.
"A great leader has intellectual curiosity, and is willing to listen to, and learn from other people. If you're too much of an autocrat - it's my way or the highway - you're not a great leader." Verity Firth, Executive Director, Social Justice
"Someone who puts their team first, that celebrates victories collectively, and that, when it falls apart, they take accountability and credit for that failure." Margaret Petty, Executive Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Best advice you've been given by a mentor that’s helped shape your career?
"One of the best pieces of advice I got when I first became an academic was, "Everyone here, Lan, is smart - the difference is how kind you are." Lan Snell, Director, Education Services for UTS Business School
"Surround yourself with really good people, and then get out of their way!" Liz Brett, Chief Executive Officer, ActivateUTS
"Rather than just focusing on climbing the ladder, actually think about what are you doing to help people, or what are you doing that's still giving you intellectual curiosity." Verity Firth, Executive Director, Social Justice
What do you hope to be remembered for?
"Making a positive difference, and hopefully leaving the world in better shape than how I found it." Danielle McCartney, Manager, Sustainability, UTS Project Management Office
"For enabling and inspiring others to reach their full potential." Margaret Petty, Executive Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
"As someone who, in a little way, contributed to improving disadvantaged women’s lives." Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, Deputy DVC (Research), Director of the Athena Swan project
"Being part of the team that really transformed learning at UTS." Professor Shirley Alexander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education & Students)
What does resilience mean to you?
"Resilience means Indigenous women, it means culturally diverse women, it means working class women, it means women who keep doing what they're doing without fanfare and without fuss. It means women who just keep the world going round." Professor Nareen Young, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research
What have you learnt from failure?
"I work in start-up land, and failure is a part of every single day, and not in the sense that you're failing, but in the sense that every time you try something new, there's a chance it won't work. If you embrace that, and go out there and take that risk, you can learn from the times that things don't work, how you continue to do things better." Nicola Hazell, Director, SheStarts
"There’s a saying that if you want to increase your success rate you have to be prepared to double your failure rate. And that’s what I’ve learned from failure." Professor Shirley Alexander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education & Students)
Have you encountered the glass ceiling? If so, how did you overcome it?
"Yes, absolutely. It took me a long time to work out that there isn’t just one glass ceiling. There are multiple glass ceilings, and some are easier to shatter than others." Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, Deputy DVC (Research), Director of the Athena Swan project
"I think all women at some point in their career encounter the glass ceiling. I think the way to overcome it is to have good friendships with other women." Verity Firth, Executive Director, Social Justice
"In the start-up space, I look at the coded ceiling, this idea that if you don't code, you can't be a tech start-up founder. At SheStarts we're challenging that very premise, to show that amazing women with great ideas can smash through that ceiling and build companies that are going to change the world." Nicola Hazell, Director, SheStarts
"I have. Just keep tapping away, use a sledgehammer if you need to. Be persistent, and if we all keep doing it, it will shatter." Danielle McCartney, Manager, Sustainability, UTS Project Management Office
How can we as a UTS community 'press for progress' around gender equity?
"I really love Women @ UTS. I've been to a few of their events and I've made connections there. I think when we work collectively as women together, we can make change." Jenna Price, Senior Lecturer, UTS Journalism
"We're inspiring female entrepreneurship by providing tools to women and allowing them to create their own jobs and create the jobs of the future. In our Hatchery Accelerate program, we have approximately 57% female founders." Margaret Petty, Executive Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
"We need to be thinking about gender and equality in every decision we make and every appointment we make." Professor Shirley Alexander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education & Students)
"There are really easy things that faculties can do, such as regular audits in the kinds of people employed and at what level. So that we can have full information about whether things like the glass ceiling are still affecting us" Christina Ho, Senior Lecturer, Social and Political Sciences
"Support and promote more safe spaces for women and femme-identifying students" Bernice Datu, Women's Convenor, UTS Women's Collective
"Continue to support difference among women. Constantly recognising intersectionality and cultural diversity and Indigeneity among women...and keep doing what we're doing." Professor Nareen Young, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research
"Knowing your place in the communities you’re trying to help. And knowing when to lead the charge and when to stand back and help other people raise their voices. The Respect.Now.Always campaign is already pressing for progress - it's open to not just women but also to gender-diverse backgrounds." Aadarsh Prasad, student
"It is inconceivable that in a just and ethical society, women have any less opportunity in employment or in life. For real progress, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to continue and consistently strive for positive change. The Athena SWAN, our unconscious bias training, our recruitment commitments - these are all parts of a bigger program aimed at driving concrete change here at UTS." Professor Attila Brungs, Vice-Chancellor and President
"Get involved. Find people of a like mind and get involved. You have the agency to change the world, and you have the people who want to help you do it, so get involved." Verity Firth, Executive Director, Social Justice
Women make up 46.9% of the employed Australian workforce
They hold 13.7% of chair positions, 24.9% of directorships, and comprise 16.5% of CEOs
Compared to their male counterparts, women make 15.3% less full-time income – equating to an average of $253.70 less in their pocket each week
For the 16th year in a row, UTS has been awarded the Employer of Choice citation for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). One of only 16 universities and 120 organisations to make the list, the citation is a leading practice program that aims to encourage, recognise and promote active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces.
Find out more about joining Women @ UTS or the Women Researchers @ UTS networks. UTS is also committed to the Athena Swan program, which aims to advance women in STEMM areas (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine-health).
Allison Glavin, Katia Sanfilippo and Emily Mead
Marketing and Communication Unit