Diversity and inclusion at Melbourne School of Engineering
The Melbourne School of Engineering is proud to co-host the 2019 Future Women Leaders Conference alongside Monash University and UNSW. Featuring a range of exciting speakers from academia, attendees will attend skill development workshops, learn strategies to deal with the specific challenges facing women in Engineering and IT and network with their peers. We invite you to apply for the Women’s Leadership Award to attend the Conference. The Award supports your conference attendance, the network dinner and two nights accommodation for interstate attendees. Female postdocs and early career researchers from any university or institution who are interested in pursuing an academic career in engineering or IT career are encouraged to apply for this award. Attendance to the Future Women Leaders Conference is restricted to award recipients only.
We’re commited to ensuring that you feel safe, included and engaged every day you set foot on campus.
Creating environments that support and encourage your success
At the Melbourne School of Engineering, we embrace the diversity of our staff and students. Differences in age, race, gender, cultural heritage, sexual orientation, physical ability and background bring a wonderful richness to our campus. That’s why we’re focused on creating an environment that values, supports and respects your views, knowledge and individual experience.
We’re strongly committed to increasing diversity in our staff and student cohorts, ensuring that you feel valued, respected and comfortable being yourself every day on campus.
Building a more diverse university experience through our efforts
To create a more inclusive and inviting community, the team at MSE strives to:
- Represent people with diverse attributes, experiences and backgrounds
- Promote an inclusive culture where equality and diversity are valued and respected, staff are supported to achieve their aspirations and people feel empowered to raise concerns without fear of repercussion
- Implement a zero-tolerance approach to behaviours, attitudes and practices that do not support our diversity and inclusion strategy
Key areas of focus
- Increasing the percentage of female academic and professional staff, with a focus on retention and promotion
- Increasing the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff
- Creating an inclusive organisational culture to support LGBTQIA+ students and staff
- Increasing networking and research opportunities for junior academics through mentoring programs, networking events and fellowships
We would congratulate the School of Computing and Information Systems for being recognised as a BRAID affiliate. Affiliates are institutions that have committed to increasing the diversity of their computing departments. Affiliates participate in BRAID for one year, during which they learn best practices from our BRAID schools. More information on BRAID initiative can be found on the AnitaB.org website.
Supporting Women in Academia
STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) is a traditionally male-dominated field at professoriate and leadership level—an area that, in this day and age, should be significantly more balanced. One of our goals is to be more successful at recruiting female talent and building more female-friendly workplaces in order to help ensure our outstanding female talent has the support and frameworks to reach their own success. This is why we have set targets coupled with strategies to raise female representation in leadership and academia, with a focus on achieving equality and equity for female staff. Below are some of the strategies to increase the percentage of female academic staff, with a focus on recruitment, promotion and retention.
Continuing (Tenured) Positions for Female Academics
At MSE, we strongly believe that the future workforce is an equal one. That is why we are working hard to raise awareness and lift the representation of women academics from 22% in 2018 to 30% over the next five years pursuant to a Special Measure under Section 12 (1) of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic). In 2018, in conjunction of the International Women’s Day, MSE announced the opening of five lecturer continuing roles for female academics across all Engineering and Computer Science disciplines.
Diversity recognises that we each individual and unique, and whilst hiring outstanding female academics will not drastically change our overall percentages, hopefully it will add momentum towards equality, ensuring our female students have appropriate role models to ensure they can thrive. Through a very successful recruitment campaign, six appointments were made to female academics of exceptional calibre.
MSE International Research Fellowship for Female Academics
The MSE International Research Fellowship for Female Academics provides a dedicated opportunity for young female academics to work in universities and research centres abroad.
The fellowship valued at up to AUD11,000 aims to provide opportunities for our female researchers to strengthen and develop their academic networks, knowledge, skills, and contacts. Fellowships are tenable for between one and six months. We congratulate the following 2019 recipients.
Dr. Margarita Saft
Dr Saft will be visiting ETH and The University of Zurich to investigate novel subsurface flow dynamics and changes in hydrological processes.
Dr. Elham Naghizade
Dr. Naghizade will be visiting the Data Science lab at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich to investigate how to cluster individuals based on observing a small set of their movement behaviour. This is key in novel applications that require either delivering highly personalized location-based services, or fast detection of traffic anomalies.
MSE Mentoring Program
The School has worked to develop a specialised mentoring program to help achieve our diversity goals. The Mentoring@MSE program was launched late 2017 to signal the commitment of MSE in developing our academic staff and to seed an organizational change towards an embedded culture of mentoring/sponsorship. Each mentee is matched with:
- A senior mentor
- Topic-based peer mentoring groups where topics and group compositions are determined by mentees
- A series of workshops for which support the peer mentoring processes
The aim of the program is to create an environment where staff feel valued, nurtured, and empowered to reach their full potential. While the pilot program was focused towards female academics at levels A, B and C, it is now open to all academics is run on an ongoing basis.
MSE Visiting Fellowships for Female Academics
The MSE Visiting Fellowship aims are tow-fold: to recruit female academic staff by tapping into the right academic networks and to enhance engagement and collaboration between MSE female academics and researchers outside the School. To date, thirteen recipients from internationally renowned research institutes and universities have visited MSE, each delivering a public lecture and engaging with MSE academics. The next round of fellowships will be offered early in 2020.
MSE Family Assistance Grant for Conference/Meeting Travel
Conferences and meetings are an excellent way for professionals to network and increase their visibility. While they’re great for research collaboration, co-authorship and grant applications, it can be difficult to find someone to look after the family while you’re away. That’s why the School is offering grants to academic staff to offset child-care related expenses. Academic staff who are primary carers of pre-school and school-aged children (up to Year 10) are eligible to apply.
Visit the MSE Intranet to learn how to apply for the Grant (staff only access).
Baby and parent rooms to support families at work
Parent rooms are available on campus. View a list of parent room locations for students and staff.
Flexible working hours and leave arrangements
We encourage people with family responsibilities to work flexible hours to achieve a more balanced life. Eligible staff can also apply for maternity and paternity leave and return to flexible working arrangements.
Read more about your options on the Careers at Melbourne website.
Provision of Child Care
The Children’s Services of the University of Melbourne provides 138 long day care places for the University Community across two centres. Its vision is to support the University's vision to be "one of the finest universities in the world" through the provision of quality early childhood care and education services for the children of staff and students, and the wider community. Learn more about Children’s Services and how to apply on the Services website.
Indigenous Australian inclusion and advancement
Melbourne School of Engineering acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which our campus exists, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Advancing equal opportunity for indigenous Australian staff, students and community stakeholders
The Melbourne School of Engineering recognises that, in this day and age, Indigenous Australians still experience disadvantage in most areas of life and that recognition itself is simply not good enough. The School is committed to driving change in this space by increasing the number of Indigenous Australians we employ at all organisational levels, by striving to increase our Indigenous Australian student cohort and by listening and working collaboratively with community stakeholders.
At the Melbourne School of Engineering we offer an accepting, safe and supportive environment for Indigenous Australians to reach their full potential.
We welcome Indigenous Australians to study, work and engage with the School and to join its rich and diverse community.To find out about our current activities in this space, visit Partnerships and sponsorship
Our LGBTQIA+ community
Melbourne School of Engineering is a diverse organisation, welcoming people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, allies, and more (LGBTQIA+).
These individuals may be exposed to unsolicited discrimination at work, university and in their personal lives. The School is working towards improving the experience of its LGBTQIA+ staff and students through the activities listed below.
The University has joined Pride in Diversity and contributes to the Australian Workplace Equality Index.
Establishing anti-bullying policies to protect
LGBTIQA+ community members often find themselves in a vulnerable and uncomfortable position in school and the workplace. At MSE, LGBTQIA+ individuals are protected under our Anti-bullying Policy.
MSE also aims to develop specific HR policies that provide the structure, framework, and support for its LGBTIQA+ students and staff. We are also in the process of further exploring successful strategies that have been developed by other organisations in order to provide further support for LGBTIQA+ individuals at the School.
Pride in action network
The Pride in Action Network is the University of Melbourne’s inaugural LGBTQIA+ ally network. The Network has been established to work with network members and leadership to build and promote visibility of an inclusive and culture where diversity is affirmed and celebrated – from the inside out.The network connects staff and students who identify as LGBTIQA+, allies and supporters of the community, creating opportunities to share resources and foster an inclusive and supportive workplace and learning environment. The Network is made up of members who are willing to stand up and out against homophobia, transphobia, and intersexism, and who want the University to be a place where identities are affirmed rather than simply accepted.
Partners & sponsorship
Enabling diversity through partnerships and sponsorships
Murrup Barak, Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development, aims to transform the lives of Indigenous Australians through their education at the Melbourne School of Engineering as well as their employment after graduation. This initiative aims to support and empower Indigenous Australians to reach their full potential both academically and professionally.
For more details visit Murrup Barak, Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development.
The Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School (VIEWS)
The Victorian Indigenous Engineering Winter School (VIEWS) is an exciting program for Year 11 and 12 Indigenous students.
Every July, students from across the nation visit Melbourne and spend a week discovering what it’s like to study and work in Engineering & IT. Students learn about different pathways into higher education, the various technical specialisations, take part in industry site tours, participate in hands on activities and meet Indigenous engineering and technology professionals.
We hope that over the course of the week participants come away inspired by the amazing opportunities that careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) can offer.
Learn more about VIEWS and how you can get involved.
Indigenous Engineering Software Project
MSE partners with Supply Nation and annually teams of MSE software engineering students develop software and systems solutions for Indigenous-owned businesses. Students apply latest technology and methodologies and work with clients to develop tailored solutions to address problems and take advantage of opportunities.
This program builds the capability of Indigenous organisations while providing students an opportunity to gain real world experience and solidify learnings.
Worawa Aboriginal Girls College
Worawa Aboriginal College provides a holistic education and boarding experience for young Aboriginal Women in Years 7 to 10.
These bright students work with academics from the School of Computing and Information Systems (CIS) each term developing individual software and systems skills.
This program is led by Dr Greg Wadley, and is designed to foster an interest in computer science, IT, software engineering, information systems and equip students with skills useful for their future careers.
Worawa students also routinely visit the University’s Parkville campus, and have experienced cutting-edge Virtual and Augmented Reality at the Microsoft Centre for Social NUI, toured the University’s data room, participated in Programming Challenge for Girls (PC4G) workshops and presented coding projects to Melbourne School of Engineering staff.
Spotlight on our rising reseachers
We profile the amazing work carried out by our most promising junior academics. Read our latest profile:
Elyse Passmore received her PhD from The University of Melbourne in October 2017, “Effect of lower-limb torsional deformities on muscle and joint function during gait”. This research was carried out as a collaboration with The Royal Children’s Hospital and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne Australia. During her PhD studies Elyse was awarded the Diane Lemaire Scholarship for Women in Engineering.
Currently Dr Passmore is a Research Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne and a Senior Biomedical Engineering at The Royal Children’s Hospital. Her current research focuses on understanding the biomechanics of pathological gait in children through the fusion of 3D motion capture technology and medical imaging to create personalised musculoskeletal models. Elyse is also part of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy. As well as working with children Elyse is currently working as part of the Equine injury prevention program, investigating the effect of different racetrack surfaces on the loading of horse limbs during racing.
Elyse is this year’s recipient of the Yamagucchi Medal in gait and kinesiology for researchers up to seven years post PhD, which she will receive at the World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin Ireland.
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