The University of Sydney Business School is partnering with UN Women National Committee Australia in a joint effort to promote gender equality at the most senior levels of the nation’s public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors.
The unique partnership, which includes funding for an MBA scholarship and industry placement opportunities for undergraduate students, was announced by UN Women Australia’s Executive Director, Julie McKay, at an International Women’s Day event in Sydney.
Ms McKay told her audience that the key priorities for UN Women National Committee Australia were economic empowerment through access to decent work and the promotion of women to leadership roles.
“Access to education is crucial to gender equality and the University of Sydney Business School has an opportunity to influence the gender equality agenda,” Ms McKay said.
Commenting on the MBA scholarship to be sponsored by UN Women National Committee Australia, Ms McKay said she hoped it would attract the interest of women from across the country.
“We are looking for someone who really has leadership potential, who has shown an interest in promoting women’s rights and gender equality and who will work with us in years to come to promote women’s leadership,” she said.
Welcoming the partnership agreement, the Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Ms Belinda Hutchinson, said, “UN Women National Committee Australia plays a pivotal role in raising public awareness of gender and development issues impacting women here and around the world”.
“The MBA scholarship is a tangible way of empowering women through the opportunity to develop their leadership skills,” Ms Hutchinson said.
The partnership also provides two industry placement opportunities for Business School undergraduate students which will allow them, in Ms Hutchinson’s words, “to promote women’s empowerment and the need to end violence against women”.
Ms McKay said she hoped the partnership with the Business School would help to broaden the conversation around gender equality, particularly in the media.
“Effectively managing diversity, promoting gender equality at work and advancing more women into leadership roles across business are amongst the most critical issues for Australian business,” added the Business School’s Associate Dean, Management Education, Professor Richard Hall. “Our partnership with UN Women National Committee Australia is an important part of our contribution to progressing those issues.”
Co-Dean of the Business School, Professor David Grant, said he was “delighted” to be partnering with the National Committee of UN Women Australia.
“This partnership reflects the School’s long-term strategy to provide talented women with an opportunity to develop the skills that current and future generations of business leaders will need if they are to meet the challenges facing Australian industry and the wider community,” Professor Grant said.
Ms McKay described her own participation in the School’s Global Executive MBA program as, “one of the best things that I have ever done”.
“The Business School provides unique opportunities to learn from academics who are prepared to challenge students to think differently about the workplace of the future and what they want that to look like,” she said.
The Australian National Committee supports UN Women through membership programs, raising public awareness of gender and development issues and fundraising for projects around the world.
The Australian National Committee for UN Women also works to strengthen relations between UN Women and the Australian government and with other civil society groups in Australia and the Pacific region.