Expertly targeted research creates buy-in within your organisation, assists leaders and managers to understand your organisations particular challenges, and importantly identifies critical leverage points for change in your organisation. Jen adopts a capacity building approach that ensures research informs strategy that gets results.
Research is not an alternative to action. Organisations that have been tackling gender and diversity issues for some time, or are becoming impatient with the rate of change wonder about the value of research. 'We already know there's a problem, we just need to fix it'. However there is considerable value in gaining a deeper understanding of your employees attitudes and behaviours, diving deeper into your data and adopting a research informed approach to your gender and diversity strategy.
Each organisation is unique, with its own history, culture and gender profile. Disappointingly, there are no ready made solutions that can be dropped into organisations. There is a need for customised approaches. Of course it pays to be scanning the environment for what others are doing, particularly in your sector, but creating buy-in within your organisation, helping leaders and managers to understand your particular challenges, and importantly identifying critical leverage points for change in your organisation can all be assisted by well targeted research.
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.
While Jen brings the up to date knowledge and expertise to the table she adopts a collaborative process that builds the capacity of your staff to identify, monitor and address gender and diversity issues.
Current research project
Jen is currently engaged in a joint University of Western Australia and University of Melbourne research project examining sponsorship practices in higher education. The research takes, as its point of departure, the emerging distinction between mentoring and sponsorship, primarily in corporate settings and examines the relevance of this in higher education.
The poster Is my bias showing? The role of sponsorship in building scientific careers communicates early results under the headings:
- What do sponsors do?
- What is the impact of sponsorship on careers?
- How does sponsorship contribute to productive cultures? and
- Who gets sponsored and why?
Commissioned research examining the position of academic women within the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Maths.
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