Board ready woman awarded inaugural Diversity Scholarship
Belinda Bennett, Professor of Health and Medical Law, Sydney Law School, has been awarded an inaugural Board Diversity Scholarship by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The Board Diversity Scholarship program is part of a broader initiative by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) aimed at helping to lift the representation of women on Australian boards.
The AICD received more than 1900 applications and awarded 70 scholarships across Australia to board-ready women from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.
Professor Bennett holds governance roles both within the University and in the medical community. She is a Fellow of Senate and a member of the Academic Board, the Medical Council of NSW and the Medical Board of Australia.
“For me, this is a valuable opportunity to learn more about decision making at a board level,” she said.“We operate in an increasingly complex environment. I will benefit from the interaction with people who work in a wide variety of contexts. In a boardroom you are dealing with quite different issues from those you come across in teaching and research. Being a board member has broadened my horizons and it’s important work. Traditionally, there has been a divide between academia and the corporate world but we bring different skills and ways of thinking to the table, and can learn a great deal from each other.”
Dr Maree Murray, Assistant Director, Staff and Student Equal Opportunity Unit, said the University is supportive of women’s development. “We recognise the need to retain and develop ‘talent’ as we face the challenges of the twenty first century, ” she said.
The scholarship provides women with the governance knowledge and professional development needed to help secure private and public sector directorships. Professor Bennett will use it to undertake the AICD’s Mastering the Boardroom education program. She completed the introductory Company Directors course in 2007 when the University encouraged senior staff with governance responsibilities to attend formal training.