Kate Wilson, Director of Equity and Diversity.
Kate Wilson, Director of Equity and Diversity.

Catalysts for peace

On Thursday 5 March, Macquarie University, in partnership with Hunters Hill Rotary, will play host to Catalysts for Peace, an event in celebration of International Women’s Day 2015.

“We are very proud to announce global social impact entrepreneur Zoe Lamont, CEO and founder of 10thousandgirl, as host of our event,” said Kate Wilson, Director of Equity and Diversity.

Kate says guests will hear from women who are significant catalysts for peace.

“Chinese Deputy Consul-General Ms Tang Ying will discuss the Beijing +20 review and the blueprint for advancing women’s rights developed in 1995 at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women,” said Kate. “Guests will also hear from panellists Miriam Lieberman, Vera Sistenich and Patricia Garcia.”

In the lead-up to Catalysts for Peace, we asked Kate a number of questions about Macquarie’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

How important is the issue of equity and diversity in advancing organisational change? How could an organisation foster a truly collaborative workplace?
There are three key elements – equity, diversity and inclusive practice. One of the keys to organisational advancement is to have a balance of all three. It is about fairness, voice, and the creation of a work environment where a range of perspectives and authentic participation are actively valued.

What do you see as the greatest opportunity or benefit from this agenda? How does diversity contribute to organisational performance?
Increased awareness, positive behaviours, increased curiosity and creativity of thought, a broader world view, increased possibility for social change, increased staff and student morale, more informed decision making, higher productivity, attraction and retention of the best to be the best. A person’s sense of inclusion and belonging is one of the strongest indicators of whether they will stay, be satisfied and fully contribute in their employment.

What role do you see men having in the ongoing drive to achieve gender equity?
Gender equity is everyone’s responsibility.

Can you share any collaborative initiatives which may contribute to positive social transformation?
We want women to flourish in employment and education at Macquarie. The gender focus in 2015 is the identification and response to ‘pressure points’ for women in research, women in science and engineering, and employment equity issues that have a greater impact on women, such as flexible work options and domestic violence support.

We will continue to lead in the national White Ribbon workplace accreditation program as the national program is being rolled out. Other collaborations include a new anti-racism film project between Macquarie University’s PACE program (Professional and Community Engagement), the City of Ryde and the Salvation Army; the midterm review with all stakeholders of our five-year Disability Action Plan; and continued work with managers on the benefits of Inclusive Leadership to maintain and nurture supportive and productive work teams.

Catalysts for Peace: International Women’s Day 2015

When: Thursday 5 March
6pm – 9pm
Level 3 Function Rooms (C10A)
$30 ($20 students/concession), light refreshments included

Funds raised support Rotary Hunters Hill international aid projects, with a range of women’s Fair trade stalls displaying and selling items on the night.

Register online.