On the occasion of International Women’s Day, RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald launched RMIT Women Connect, a program to help the University’s female staff build their professional and personal identities.
“The aim of RMIT Women Connect is to provide an environment where women can share their expertise, provide peer support and empower each other,” Professor McDonald said at an International Women’s Day staff event.
In addition to networking opportunities, the program will offer workshops on topics such as Assertiveness, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Creativity, and Gender Equality and Combating Domestic Violence.
“International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women, but it’s also a day to acknowledge that women have yet to achieve equality,” Professor McDonald asserted.
She cited evidence from a 2017 Global Gender Gap Report that was published at the World Economic Forum.
“Data shows that the gender gap is widening,” she said. “Instead of taking 170 years to close the gap, at the current rate of progress, it is estimated that gender parity across the world will take over two centuries. Two hundred seventeen years to be exact.”
Professor McDonald encouraged the audience to reflect on their own lives and consider the contributions they could make to achieve gender equality in their communities.
“Each one of us can make a difference in whatever form we feel is appropriate, to push the boundary a little further. Some organisations do this better than others, and we want to be one of those organisations,” Professor McDonald said.
She urged the audience to “Press for Progress”, referring to the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.
The RMIT Women Connect project is part of the University’s wider efforts to practise inclusion, one of the organisation’s core values.
RMIT Vietnam also offers an undergraduate Women in Technology scholarship and a PhD scholarship for women, both of which are intended to encourage gender balance in fields where women’s participation in the labour force is low.
Story: Howie Phung