Professor Helen Sullivan is the Director of Crawford School of Public Policy.
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Crawford School has publicly committed to a 50/50 gender balance across its public events program from 2018.
Writing on Policy Forum, Crawford Director Professor Helen Sullivan highlighted the importance of getting a greater diversity of voices in the discussion, debate, and formulation of public policy, and the role that public policy schools can play in facilitating this goal.
In the piece, Professor Sullivan highlights that over the last year, the school achieved a gender split on public events of roughly 65 per cent men, and 35 per cent women, and says we can and should do better.
“As a public policy school which seeks to inform, lead, and educate the next generation of policymakers, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that we are addressing gender imbalance,” she writes.
“To that end, starting in 2018 Crawford School will commit to a goal of gender balance in our public events with two specific targets; firstly, ensuring that we have a balance on panel events organised by the school, and secondly ensuring that across the course of the year our events program has featured as many women sharing their insights, expertise and views as it does men. At the end of 2018 we’ll publicly report back on this on both measures.”
Professor Sullivan has asked the School’s Gender and Diversity Committee to work with the Engagement Team to develop guidelines and advice for events organisers at the School to help them achieve the goal.
“Once finalised those guidelines will be on the website,” she said.
“In the meantime, events organisers might want to check out the Male Champions of Change program that has plenty of good advice and guidance on achieving gender balance on public events.
“Of course, this commitment will only go a small way towards addressing a much larger societal issue. But everyone – individuals, companies, political parties, universities – needs to do their part.
“I appreciate that reaching this target will require commitment from staff, but I’m sure we can all agree that public policy debate, deliberation, and formulation works best when you hear from a diversity of voices. We need a more representative policy-making process that hears from men, women – and those who wish to be identified as neither – and public policy schools have a responsibility to play an active role in achieving this goal.”