You're invited to this year's International Women's Day event - 8 March

March 16 / 176

International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8, and the University is hosting an open event to celebrate.

This year the theme for International Women’s Day is “Pledge for Parity”, in recognition that although women make valuable social, economic, cultural and political contributions, progress toward gender parity has slowed in many places in the world.

In response, the International Women’s Day organising team has challenged everyone to sign up to the Parity Pledge, and take proactive steps to help achieve gender parity more quickly - whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures, or root out workplace bias.

“Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity,” their website says.

Provost Professor Margaret Sheil says the University of Melbourne has had a rich history of contribution from women over its 160-plus years.

“From the tenacious determination of its first women students to participate in higher education, to the ground-breaking research of scientists like microbiologist Nancy Millis or Nobel Prize winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, women have never been far from the centre of this university’s narrative,” she says.

“At an operational level we continue to work hard to ensure equal representations of women at the senior leadership levels, and to attract and retain talented women at all levels of their research and professional careers.”

Speakers at the University’s International Women’s Day event are:

* Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation) Professor Gregor Kennedy (MC)

* Aunty Di Kerr, Welcome to Country

* Professor Margaret Sheil, Provost

* Professor Felicity A Baker, Associate Dean (Academic) and Co-director National Music Therapy Research Unit, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music 

* Associate Professor Jane Elith, Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity Modelling, School of BioSciences, Faculty of Science

* Ms Lara McKay, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications

* Dr Sally Eastoe, Executive Director, Human Resources & OHS

The event will be held 10–11am followed by morning tea at the Kwong Lee Dow Lecture Theatre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education Student Centre, 234 Queensberry Street.  RSVP: Caroly Seiler (


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