University named an Employer of Choice for Women 2010

9 March 2010

A fellowship given to women academics to help them advance in research to better their promotion prospects is just one of the many initiatives behind the University of Sydney once again being recognised as an Employer of Choice for Women in 2010.

First awarded in 2009, the Thompson Fellowship is an equity-driven initiative sponsored by the University. It provides up to $60,000 annually for four fellows, awarding $25,000 for teaching relief and $5,000 for research support.

One of the four current Thompson Fellows, Associate Professor Margaret Allman-Farinelli from the School of Molecular Bioscience in the Faculty of Science describes the fellowship as a "wonderful opportunity."

"I've had a broken career in that I took time out for child-rearing and caring for elderly parents and then I've re-entered the academic workforce," she says, adding the Fellowship has enabled her to bring in replacement staff for administration and teaching.

"Research is a very important key performance area for an academic at my level. That's what this fellowship is for, to give women who have gotten caught up with the teaching and administrative side the opportunity to focus on research and gain promotion from the Associate Professor level."

"For me, I came into the department to lead programs which needed substantial reorganisation, which took up most of my time in the first years of my appointment."

A prestigious citation awarded each year by the Federal Government's Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, this year's Employer of Choice for Women citation was awarded to 95 organisations spanning across all industries. The announcement of organisations meeting the criteria was made this week on International Women's Day.

Organisations recognised on the list are required to meet a number of stringent criteria each year including providing the flexibility for women managers to work part-time and ensuring the organisation's average pay gap between genders is less than industry average.

"This award recognises the incredible efforts that many different people across all parts of the University have put in to improve the situation of women in the workplace," Dr Maree Murray, the Assistant Director of the University's Staff and Student Equal Opportunity Unit says.

For more information on the 2010 Employer of Choice for Women program visit this website.