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Banker executives to mentor rising medical and scientific researchers

Institute News
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 9:15am
Doctor Katie Ayers of Murdoch Children's Research Institute
Up and coming researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute will participate in a cross-sector mentoring program to gain new skills and exchange ideas with some of the banking industry’s top professionals.

This progressive mentoring program established by the Women in Science Parkville Precinct (WiSPP) in collaboration with National Australia Bank (NAB), is an opportunity to pair mentees with Senior Management professionals at NAB.

The program aims to develop gender balanced leadership in both sectors, and currently across the science sector, women make up less than 20% of senior leaders.

Murdoch Children's is excited to be building strong links with NAB through this program to gain insight from their expertise in promoting workplace diversity.

Led by Professors Julie Bernhardt and Sarah Russell, the working group invited applications from across the WiSPP initiative. From 50 candidates, 15 mentees were selected to take part, comprising four women from Murdoch Children's who are now teamed up with mentors holding positions across NAB such as Chief Risk Officer, General Manager – Corporate and Group Treasurer.

Murdoch Children's recognise the program as much more than a mentoring exercise, but rather an initiative that will provide participants with an incredibly rich leadership development experience and relevant education on diversity and inclusion.

Senior Research Officer at the Institute, Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea formed part of the WiSPP working group and welcomes NAB’s commitment to helping women in science to lead and excel.

“NAB is particularly keen to further develop the careers of our young scientists, putting significant time, people and resources into the pilot which is fabulous to see,” said Dr Evans-Galea. 

“As a member of the working group I was really impressed with the quality of applicants and what they wanted to achieve and it’s heartening that NAB is willing to help these young professionals achieve their goals,” added Dr Evans-Galea, who is also co-founder of Women in Science Australia and serves on the Science in Australia Gender Equity Steering Committee with the Australian Academy of Science.

Doctor Katie Ayers who specialises in molecular development at the Institute is already reaping the rewards of the program through an initial meeting with general management at NAB.

“I think this program is going to be extremely beneficial to me and my career, and in particular I am looking forward to gaining perspective on career progression and work skills from someone who has been highly successful in a completely different sector,” said Doctor Ayers.

The mentoring pilot began this month and will run until October.

WiSPP represents over 6000 scientists solving health problems in immunity, childhood disorders, brain disease and cancer across five independent not-for-profit medical research institutes including: Murdoch Children's Research Institute, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; and The Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.