Publications

Mentoring: A focus on organisational change to enable individual careers

Poster presented at Gender Summit GS7, Berlin 2015. 

Mentoring programs are commonly used to help individual women advance in their careers. We report on a successful mentoring program that uses innovative design to address organisational change, as well as individual development. The program has been operating in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS), The University of Melbourne, Australia since 2011, and is currently in its fifth year of implementation. The Faculty has 2200 employees, with 70% academic and 30% administrative staff. Women are under-represented in senior faculty, with women only totalling to 28% of all professors. 

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Is my bias showing? The role of sponsorship in building scientific careers

Poster presented at Gender Summit GS7, Berlin 2015.

Sponsorship is increasingly recognized as separate to, and distinct from mentoring. In many respects it has eclipsed mentoring, with claims that it is a key ingredient in building careers and often a ‘missing ingredient’ for women. Despite this popular embracing of there is a research gap regarding sponsorship practices within higher education and research institutions. 

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Transformative Gender Interventions: Linking theory and practice using the "bifocal approach".

Translating the well-established theory of the gendered organization into strategic interventions that build more gender equitable organizations has proven to be difficult. The authors introduce the emergence of the “bifocal approach” and its subsequent development and examine the potential of the “bifocal approach” as a feminist intervention strategy and an alternative means of countering gender inequalities in organizations. The authors show how the bifocal is able to overcome some of the main difficulties of earlier transformative approaches..The bifocal approach seeks structural change, however, the change effort rests with individuals. 

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Mentoring in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences: A Brief Report by Professor Marilys Guillemin

We report on a successful staff mentoring program within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The program commenced in 2011, and is currently in its fifth year of implementation. 

The aim of the mentoring program is two fold: to create an organisational culture and environment where MDHS staff feel valued and nurtured, while at the same time, enabling individual staff to reach their full potential. 

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Champions of gender equality: female and male executives as leaders of gender change

The purpose of this paper is to examine male and female executives as leaders “championing” gender change interventions. It problematizes current exhortations for male leaders to lead gender change, much as they might lead any other business-driven change agenda. It argues that organizational gender scholarship is critical to understanding the gendered nature of championing.

This paper is of value to practitioners and scholars. It draws attention to contemporary issues of leadership and gender change, seeking to bridge the gap between theory and practice that undermines our change efforts. 

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University of Melbourne Arts Faculty Mentoring Program for Women 2012-2013 Report

This report is an evaluation of a program designed and facilitated by Jen de Vries.

The Program formed part of the Faculty’s Equal Opportunity for Women initiatives. The aims of the Program were to contribute to a culture and environment in which women staff in the Faculty feel valued and supported to “navigate, survive, and thrive” in their work environment, and reach their full potential. The Program was intended to help maximise the participation of women staff in senior leadership roles in the Faculty by increasing individual staff members’ ability to meet their career goals. An additional objective for the Faculty was the building of a body of mentoring experience and expertise amongst all staff in the Faculty. 

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Exploring Nordic feminist organisational theory and practice through the lens of the ‘bifocal approach’: Contributions to the theory and practice of transformative gender interventions.

This paper follows on closely from my previous paper (The Bifocal Approach’: (Re)positioning Women’s Programs published in Strid, Husuand Gunnarsson 2012) where I shared my enthusiasm at discovering a wealth of Nordic scholarship vitally concerned with the research and practice of transformative gender interventions in organisations.

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University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Staff Mentoring Pilot Program - Evaluation Report

This article was not written by Jen de Vries.

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences implemented a mentoring program using Jen de Vries as their consultant. The program targeted Level B academic staff and Level 8 professional staff and on Jen's advice adopted both one to one mentoring and peer mentoring as complementary strategies. 

The Evaluation report of the pilot program strongly endorses the bifocal approach and the design and facilitation of the program. 

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Rethinking Mentoring: Pursuing an organisational gender change agenda

This chapter results from a keynote address delivered in Switzerland to the European Mentoring Network (eument-net) in 2010. It draws on Jen's doctoral research and the mentoring component of Leadership Development for Women at the University of Western Australia. It explores the capacity of mentoring programs to contribute to gender change and outlines a mentoring continuum as a way of understanding mentoring relationships.

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Building sector capacity: Maximising the contribution of mentoring programs to achieving a more gender equitable sector

This paper builds on the Mentoring Program for Senior Women paper (Bell, 2009) and subsequent program in order to suggest a complementary next step for UAEW to pursue. UAEW, in conjunction with the LH Martin Institute, is well placed to take on a leadership role to build sector capacity in best practice delivery of women only mentoring programs.

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A Realistic Agenda? Women only programs as strategic interventions for building gender equitable workplaces

This thesis examines an organisational change intervention designed to build more gender equitable workplaces. The intervention relies on what could be considered a tried and true gender equity strategy: a women only (WO) development program. It asks, are such programs capable of contributing to the transformation of workplaces that is called for by feminist scholars such as Cockburn (1991) Meyerson and Fletcher (2000) and Sinclair (1994)?

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The ALLY Network at The University of Western Australia: The Early Years

The Ally Network aims to create a more diverse and inclusive culture at UWA by promoting greater visibility and awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) staff and students and their issues. Central to this project is the training and development of a network of 'Allies', that is, staff and students who are prepared to align themselves with and advocate on behalf of GLBTI staff and students. 

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Can’t we just fix the women? Designing a women’s leadership development program that challenges the organization.

Recent research increasingly points to organisational culture (Chesterman et al.2004; Palermo 2004) as the main stumbling block for women. This paper moves beyond taking a 'fix the women' approach to leadership development and explores ways in which it is possible to achieve a ‘dual agenda’, where a women’s leadership development program can benefit individual women while challenging the organisation. A ‘dual agenda’ program engages the organisation and the women in an organisational change process.

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Mentoring for Gender Equality and Organisational Change (de Vries, Webb and Eveline)

There is considerable literature about the impact of mentoring on the mentees but little is known about the effect of the mentoring relationship on the mentor. This paper aims to address that gap.

The paper assists academics and practitioners to conceive of mentoring as a core element in an effective organisational change intervention. The innovation is to move mentoring away from assuming a deficit model of the mentee. As this programme shows, a focus on what needs to change in the dominant organisational culture, practices and values can lead to key players in the organisation becoming actively involved in the needed change process. 

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More than the sum of its parts: 10 years of the Leadership Development for Women Programme at UWA

This publication was compiled for the Tenth Anniversary of the Leadership Development for Women Programme at UWA. It celebrates, documents and evaluates the program, using historical documents, interview, focus groups and survey data. Grounded within the research literature of the time, it grapples with the question of cultural change. Can the program claim, as the Vice-Chancellor suggests, that LDW is a transformational programme? 

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