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Jen aims to bring the best possible mix of leading edge theory and practice together to assist organisations in moving ahead.
The primary focus of Jen’s consulting work is gender strategy – assisting organisations to be strategic in building gender equitable, inclusive and diverse organisations. Her contribution is most effective when helping organisations who are frustrated with their current slow rate of progress and are keen to notch it up a level. Jen is adept at partnering with senior executives, HR teams, Equity and Diversity practitioners and Advisory Committees to achieve the desired progress.
Uniquely situated at the intersection between scholarship and practice, Jen brings a lively, research-informed practice approach to her consultancy work. She not only shares her own research but is also adept at translating cutting edge scholarship into practice. She aims to bring the best possible mix of leading edge theory and practice together to assist organisations in moving ahead. Her work can span undertaking research including data collection and analysis to ensure that policies and programs are appropriately targeted, assisting organisations to plan their strategy and work with leaders to drive the strategy. Jen finds that building on and tweaking interventions that are already in place can add significant value, while also assisting organisations to design interventions that will get them to the next level.
For example, Jen recently completed a Gender Equity Strategy Review with an Australian University. The review included desktop analysis of existing documents and reporting requirements, re-analysis of existing quantitative and survey data, identification of strengths and weaknesses, gathering qualitative data through the use of targeted focus groups and interviews, consultations with the VC, Executive members and Deans and delivery of a Gender Equity Strategy.
Now that gender equity is being taken seriously in ways that were not even imaginable a decade or so ago, there is an abundance of information out there. Despite this there are no ready-made solutions. Jen argues that without some gender savvy and some coherent frameworks to underpin their efforts organisations are in danger of being overwhelmed, adopting ad hoc strategies 'borrowed' from elsewhere and putting in a lot of time and resources for little gain. Her role is to filter and curate the information overload and to partner with in-house leaders and practitioners to ensure a strategic, data led and research informed approach o gender equality and diversity.
The higher education and research sector have embraced Athena SWAN (an accreditation process originating in the UK) , with 40 Australian universities and research institutes signed up for the first two years of the SAGE pilot program. There is an unprecedented air of optimism, with enormous activity and increased funding flowing into the area of gender equality with a focus on women working in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine).
Jen's engagement with Athena SWAN began several years ago, visiting the Equality Challenge Unit in the UK preparatory to working with several UK universities in a consultancy capacity to support their Athena SWAN implementations. Her work included capacity building with Executive and senior leaders, Heads of Department and Athena SWAN Departmental leads at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham.
Jen is passionate about supporting the SAGE pilot in Australia and is available to assist organisations with this work. As a 'pracademic' she brings both gender scholarship and 20 years of practical experience within the sector to her consultancy work and is well positioned to assist organisations to make the best that this opportunity affords.
Jen has designed a capacity building workshop for self assessment teams based on her work in the UK, that is ideal for this stage of the pilot. She also has a great deal of expertise in supporting practitioners, and program implementation. Her blogs this year will focus heavily on supporting the SAGE pilot.
Testimonial: Jen helped us to understand the progress made to date on Athena SWAN in Australia and drew on her deep subject knowledge and understanding of our organisation to make practical suggestions for successful preparation. Committee for Equity and the Development of Staff, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
"The key strategic leaders from both the Academic and Professional Support Services found the time spent with her to be both thought provoking and challenging."
- Joanne Race
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