ANU to host southern hub of Gillard’s female leadership centre

Former PM’s institute and Nobel laureate’s university team up to explore gender bias in leadership

September 5, 2019
Australian National University

The Australian National University will work with King’s College London to promote gender equity at the top echelons of society, in a new initiative overseen by former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard.

ANU has announced that it will establish an Asia-Pacific outpost of the KCL-based Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, which Ms Gillard chairs.

The first international base of the institute, it will work with its London counterpart on research projects, education programmes, advocacy and engagement.

The institute, which Ms Gillard launched in April last year, combines research and advocacy to explore the causes of women’s underrepresentation in leadership in business and politics, and investigate how gender negatively impacts the evaluation of women leaders.

Ms Gillard said the new satellite, which she will also chair, would help the institute achieve global impact. “[It] will broaden our network of researchers and practitioners and help us get the message out about what is effective in promoting gender equality,” she said.

A former education minister who became Australia’s first female prime minister between 2010 and 2013, Ms Gillard was subjected to sexist online trolling and slogans such as “ditch the witch” during her time in the top office.

“We want to see a world in which all women, wherever they’re from and whatever they do, are able to fulfil their potential free from prejudice, discrimination and biased assumptions about their abilities or personalities,” she said.

ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt said the partnership would help drive change and improve gender equity in Asia and the Pacific. He hailed the institute’s “remarkable impact”.

“Its research is shining a light on gender bias in the media and the workplace, and identifying the ingrained inequality that still acts as a barrier to women worldwide,” Professor Schmidt said.

King’s president Ed Byrne, a former vice-chancellor of Monash University in Melbourne, said the new partnership would strengthen KCL’s ties with research institutions in Australia.

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