Professor Helen Sullivan is the Director of Crawford School of Public Policy.
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In December 2017 Crawford School Director Professor Helen Sullivan committed the school to a gender balance in its public events program.
The target looked at two simple measures – the gender balance on individual panel events held at the school, and the overall balance of male to female participation across all of Crawford’s public events.
In the latest of our regular updates, we take a look at the progress so far. This report covers the month of July, a period in which the School held 13 events featuring 38 different speakers and participants. Of those, 6 (16 per cent) were women and 32 (84 per cent) were male. There were four panel events held in the month, of which only one had a 50/50 male-female balance. One panel was 100 per cent male.
To date this year, the school has put on 94 events featuring 436 participants. Of those, 194 (44.5 per cent) were female, and 242 (55.5 per cent) were male.
“The figures for July are disappointing, particularly after the great strides we have been making towards our commitment this year,” said Professor Robert Breunig, a member of the School’s Gender Equity and Diversity Committee.
“While we can be pleased that we are some way ahead of last year’s 35 per cent female participation rate, there is no hiding the fact that July’s figures are a step backwards. By both measures the school struggled in July. We are now seeing a distinct imbalance between male and female participation across our overall events program, and it is particularly disappointing to see such a poor showing on our panels composition, including one dreaded ‘manel’.
“The school’s commitments are important because public policy schools have a responsibility to create spaces where a diversity of voices can be heard in discussion and analysis of important policy issues.
“Around the school events organisers are, by and large, determined to fulfil the school’s gender commitment. We will expect to see a better result in August.”