Head shot of Prof Eileen Baldry

SOPHIA HOLLAND LECTURE with Prof EILEEN BALDRY ‘Getting to Equity for Women and Girls in Higher Education’

‘Getting to Equity for Women and Girls in Higher Education’

We were thrilled to have Prof Eileen Baldry AO FASSA, Deputy Vice Chancellor Equity Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Criminology at the University of NSW, present this year’s Sophia Holland Lecture at a recent zoom event.

Quoting at the outset, Ruth Bader Ginsberg: ‘women belong where all decisions are made,’ Eileen outlined the case for gender equity and the current disparity across our education system and society.

Australia currently sits at 50th from 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index

Prof Baldry spoke about the ethical and moral imperative in improving this gender disparity as well as the benefits economically. In the Australian parliament only a quarter of the roles are held by women and even less in the ministries. In our public universities men hold 54 of the 74 top positions. Prof Baldry pointed to a missed generational change opportunity in these top jobs, highlighted in Marcia Devlin’s article in The Conversation.  

And while the overall statistics are concerning, there are positive changes and programs happening and being developed to address the gap.  Prof Baldry and UNSW are involved in a collaboration with other international universities to train and mentor and ‘increase the pipeline’. And finally some recommended reading: The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone

We thank Prof Baldry for her time and insights and look forward to hearing more about the lasting benefits of some of the programs she highlighted. A recording of the presentation is available to members on request.

Each year the Sophia Holland Lecture features a prominent speaker and often on issues of education and women. Sophia Holland was a very early graduate of the University of Sydney and the mother of past GW-NSW executive and supporter Marjorie Murray, herself a science graduate of the university, who left a large bequest to Graduate Women NSW. She requested that her own name and that of her mother Mrs. Sophia Holland B.A, should be in some way associated with the activities of GW-NSW.