International Women’s Day at SVI

Posted: 05th March 2015

According to the International Women’s Day official website, “All around the world, International Women's Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Make It Happen is the 2015 theme”.

St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI) values the contribution of its female workforce and takes the issue of gender equality seriously.

This is clearly reflected in staff numbers, which show that we have 53 women and 47 men amongst our scientific staff. Three of our six most senior academic staff are women, including our two Associate Directors, A/Profs Louise Purton and Natalie Sims.

Our student numbers also reflect the strong representation of women at SVI; currently four of our seven honours students are women, while 18 of our PhdD students are women and 13 are men.

The final numbers show that 92 out of SVI’s combined administrative, academic and student staff of 165, or 56% of our workforce, are women.

While these numbers reflect SVI’s commitment to gender equity, we hope it also shows that at the end of the day what we feel is most important is getting the best people for the job. We know that there are many talented, motivated and enthusiastic men and women in medical research, and we are lucky to employ so many of them.

To further support female research staff at SVI, female researchers are given the opportunity through the Women in Research Award, a Sue Alberti Medical Research Foundation initiative, to employ a research assistant and ensure continuity of their research projects while they are on maternity leave and/or working part-time while raising their young children.

In addition, both our SVI Board and our Foundation Board Chairs are women, who have steered, supported, and helped SVI become the renowned Institute we are today.

On this International Women’s Day, SVI pledges to keep “making it happen”.


A/Profs Natalie Sims, Head of the Bone Cell Biology and Disease Unit; Louise Purton, Co-Head of the Stem Cell Regulation Unit and Helen Thomas, Head of the Islet Biology Laboratory.