Leading on gender equality to drive innovation 

ATSE + Male Champions of Change event

Event details

Thursday 3 December 2020

10.30am-12.00pm AEDT

What does bold leadership on gender equality look like?

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and the Champions of Change Coalition (CCC) — previously Male Champions of Change (MCC) — were thrilled to facilitate an important conversation about leadership actions to accelerate gender equity in STEM.

MCC Founder Elizabeth Broderick AO FTSE lead a 90-minute roundtable discussion with three eminent leaders in Australian technology and engineering:

·       Professor Tanya Monro FTSE FAA, Chief Defence Scientist

·       Dr Larry Marshall FTSE, Chief Executive of CSIRO

·       William Cox FTSE, CEO of Aurecon.

Diverse perspectives and inclusive workplace environments drive innovation and national prosperity. Yet, Australia’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce continues to face significant challenges in attracting, advancing and retaining women.

Achieving gender equality in STEM, and harnessing our full innovation potential, requires bold and inclusive leadership across the sector to support all people to thrive in their careers.

In recent years the Academy has taken important steps to improve gender equality within the Fellowship by establishing gender targets for the appointment of new Fellows and developing the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.  This roundtable will discuss leadership actions to accelerate this important change.

You are invited to ask questions to the roundtable in the meeting to contribute to this vital conversation.

Introductory remarks from Kylie Walker, Facilitator (5 minutes);
Elizabeth Broderick, opening remarks (10 minutes);
Roundtable discussion with the panel (45 minutes):
Professor Tanya Monro FAA FTSE, Chief Defence Scientist
Dr Larry Marshall, Chief Executive, CSIRO
William Cox FTSE, CEO, Aurecon
Elizabeth Broderick AO FTSE, Founder, Male Champions of Change, Facilitator

Facilitated Q&A with audience (30 minutes)

Below is a recording of the event.


Tanya Monro

Chief Defence Scientist

Professor Tanya Monro commenced as Chief Defence Scientist in March 2019. Professor Monro was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation and an ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia. Professor Monro was the inaugural Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) from 2008 to 2014 and was also the inaugural Director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Bio Photonics (CNBP) at the University of Adelaide. Her research is in the field of photonics, with a focus on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres.

Professor Monro is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP). She is a member of the Board of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Dr Larry Marshall
Dr Larry Marshall FTSE

Chief Executive of CSIRO

Larry is a scientist, technology innovator and business leader with a wealth of experience in creating new value and impact with science. He has a PhD in Physics and became a global leader in laser research, for which he was honoured as a Federation Fellow and later as an ATSE Fellow.

He invented the “eye-safe” laser which enabled lasers to be used safely in public. He was inspired at Stanford to found his first company, Light Solutions, which invented the world’s first solid-state green laser for the treatment of blindness in diabetics. He was CEO/MD and founder of another five companies, frequently based on Stanford’s science, in biotechnology, telecommunications, semiconductors, and venture capital, including Arasor which he took public in 2006. In 2007, he became MD of Southern Cross Ventures, specialising in Australian innovation, where he delivered the first Nasdaq IPO of an Australian-venture backed startup commercialising science.

Larry is a Male Champion of Change committed to tackling gender equality. He is a passionate supporter of Australian innovation, returning to Australia to lead CSIRO, which he believes is the essential catalyst to improve Australia’s innovation performance.

William Cox FTSE

Chief Executive Officer of Aurecon

 Bill is passionate about equality and diversity in all forms and is a member of the Male Champions of Change Science, Technology, Engineers and Maths (STEM) group. He was appointed as a Fellow of Engineers Australia and ATSE in 2019.

Prior to becoming CEO of Aurecon in February 2019, Bill was eight years in the role of Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, and has held senior operational positions within Aurecon throughout his over 30 years with the company. Bill’s engineering expertise has been focused on major transport infrastructure projects which he has been involved in across the Asia Pacific and the United Kingdom. Bill is a member of the Aurecon Group Board and is Chair of the Global Health and Safety Committee. He also sits on the University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Engineering and IT Industry Advisory Board.

Elizabeth Broderick AO FTSE

Founder Male Champions of Change

 As Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), Elizabeth worked tirelessly to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men, and to promote gender equality. She is a globally acknowledged leader, social innovator and advocate.

She founded and convenes the ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy activating influential men to take action on gender equality. She has led 13 major cultural reviews into Australia’s leading national institutions including the Australian Defence Force.

In 2017, Elizabeth was appointed by the United Nations in Geneva as a Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert. She is currently Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls. Elizabeth is a Board member of the International Service for Human Rights and a member of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership Advisory Council, Kings College London.

She is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Sydney, an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, holds Honorary Doctorates of Law from the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and University of Technology and Honorary Doctorates from Deakin, Edith Cowan and Griffith Universities.