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Leadership & Management

How the ‘invisibility’ bias is impacting top medical researchers

Health Industry Hub | April 29, 2022 |

Leadership & Management: To elevate recognition of women in STEMM on the largest and most popular online encyclopaedia, Franklin Women and AbbVie Australia joined forces recently to host the second Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon.

Dr Melina Georgousakis, founder of Franklin Women, joined Health Industry Hub to discuss how combating the gender bias on Wikipedia is relevant in empowering women and representative of the wider gender inequality in the health and medical research ecosystem.

Melina said “One of our biggest challenges is that while we have this amazing list of women who are very notable in our sector and have made game changing contributions [in medical research], we have no citable public references which can be added to their Wikipedia pages because they’re not quoted in the media, they’re not getting awards, they’re not represented at conferences.

“Activities, organisations and media outlets who have really set their agenda in improving the representation of women and minorities lead to a flow on benefit of having news articles for our women scientists which we can put as evidence on their Wikipedia page – where without it we can’t get them a page. So it really all works hand in hand.”

She added “I think the hardest to shift are workplace cultures… You can give women as many skills, networks and supportive tools in the world, but if they’re not in an environment that supports them, it’s really pointless.

“The other one is society – those ingrained stereotypes around genders and their roles in society and managing the home. Until we really shift a lot of those, we’re still going to slip into the old stereotypes around who takes caring roles and responsibilities, and that’s always going to prevent women from fully participating at work.”

Chris Stemple, Vice President and General Manager of AbbVie Australia and New Zealand, said “We’re thrilled to play a part in elevating the visibility of inspiring women who have made remarkable contributions to science, and who continue to pave the way for the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow.”

Health Industry Hub’s Women in Leadership series: Passionate and influential industry leaders share their perspectives and experiences on the complex challenges faced by women on the path to senior leadership, the opportunities for growth and empowerment, and the dynamics shaping the future of leadership and business.


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