Celebrating International Women's Day

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March we are celebrating the inspirational women who make up almost 80 per cent of our workforce. This year’s IWD theme is Each for Equal. Here at SCHN, 67 percent of our executive team and 66 per cent of our 430 managers are women. We asked some of our staff who are leading the way in the expert provision of paediatric care what leadership means to them and how they promote equality in the workplace:

Dr Gemma Olsson, neurosurgeon

I believe great leadership is about respect. When people show each other respect more gets done. Respect for our patients, our fellow employees, our world and ourselves is the pinnacle of leadership. This can occur at every level. Equality too needs champions at every level. I work towards equality by acknowledging that I need to treat everyone equally and with respect at all times and by understanding I may have biases that I am not even aware of and also by promoting an open discourse in environments where I work.

Dr Ann Maguire, Senior Staff Specialist, Paediatric Endocrinology and Medical Lead of Diabetes Clinical Services, CHW

I aim to lead by contributing to an improved workplace culture, by valuing everyone’s contribution and by trying to communicate authentically which I believe is important to team functioning especially during times of change and uncertainty.

My personal experience of equality at SCHN has been overwhelmingly positive. My career development, talent recognition and leadership training has been encouraged and supported by SCHN while I have worked part time due to the carer responsibilities of my three young children. Moving forward I will continue to promote this positive institutional mindset of inclusiveness for the benefit of gender equality at SCHN.

Christie Breen, Network Clinical Program Director, Priority Populations

Leadership is about always being authentic and true to your values. It’s about bringing people along with you on the journey to achieving outcomes. It’s also about sometimes stepping back from the limelight and allowing others to shine.

Equality is about recognising that everybody needs a voice and we need to create a safe space where everyone can have a voice. It’s about closing the gap for our Aboriginal patients and our other vulnerable patients. It’s about making sure your staff have equal opportunities but recognising we are not one size fits all. People might need different things to be on the same playing field.

Emma Dickins, Network Integrated Care Lead

To me, leadership is about inspiring and empowering colleagues to work collectively towards a shared purpose. As a leader, it’s important to not only listen and actively communicate, but it’s crucial to recognise other’s skillsets and create an environment that allows your colleagues to achieve their best and excel in their day-to-day work. 

Verity Luckey, Director of Nursing SCH

Leadership means lots of things – bringing a team together toward a shared vision and ensuring we provide the best care for kids. Bringing the best out in people and providing opportunities for them to be the best they can be. Recognising strengths in people and getting to know those you are leading. Equality is about providing fair opportunities, about recognising who needs to have a voice and providing opportunities for inclusion.