The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute board has appointed Mrs Jane Hemstritch as its first female vice president.
Mrs Hemstritch, who has been a board member since 2013, has extensive leadership experience in technology and professional services companies. She fills the vice presidential vacancy created following the retirement from the board of Mr Steven Skala.
The appointment of Mrs Hemstritch furthers the Institute’s commitment to improving the representation of women in leadership positions within the medical science sector.
Mrs Hemstritch said she was honoured to be appointed Vice President of the Board. “My hope is that this appointment will positively influence the progression of women into leadership positions within the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and wider scientific community,” she said.
“For generations the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute has been a leader in medical health research. This role includes a responsibility to continue to get the best minds into the Institute, both male and female. With underrepresentation of women in senior science research positions it is our duty to identify and remove barriers that may inhibit our female scientists from progressing in their careers.”
The Institute is a leader in gender equity in the medical research sector and provides workplace opportunities to support women researchers including equal representation requirements for institute-sponsored committees, seminars and conferences.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute director Professor Doug Hilton welcomed the appointment of Mrs Hemstritch to the role. “I congratulate Jane on her appointment and her willingness to take on the extra responsibilities of the Vice President,” he said. “She will continue to be a valued member of our Board and leader within the medical research sector.”
Mrs Hemstritch was managing director Asia Pacific for Accenture Limited until her retirement in 2007. She currently is an independent non-executive director of Lend Lease Corporation Limited and Tabcorp Holdings Ltd, a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia, and chairman of the Victorian Opera Company Ltd.