#CountHerIn: RANZCOG Ranks in Top 101 Places for Women to Work on International Women’s Day


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

8 March 2024

RANZCOG was proud to host a panel discussion exploring the UN International Women’s Day theme of “Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress” within the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology.

Underscoring the College’s dedication to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace, RANZCOG has been an endorsed WORK180 employer since 2023, and ranked within the “2024 Top 101 Workplaces for Women”

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a day for us to join voices with people around the world, rallying people globally in the unwavering pursuit of equality.

On this day, we celebrate all women in their diversities and recognise how far we’ve come.

But we’re not there yet. According to a report published by the WHO, women in healthcare earn 24% less than men.[1] And in Australia, women represent only 28% of medical deans and 12.5% of hospital CEOs.[2] Globally, women continue to face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy, as well as in healthcare, employment, education, and leadership. Intersectional discrimination further exacerbates disparities.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024 “Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.” serves as a call to action to address systemic injustices, and advocate for the empowerment of all women which is central to a gender equal world.

RANZCOG was proud to host a meaningful panel discussion exploring this year’s theme within the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology during a Council Forum on 8 March. Five prolific women examined what is needed to attain greater inclusion for women and girls everywhere.

Current systems do not take into consideration the effects of reproductive health on women’s daily lives, or the disproportionate responsibility of care which women carry. “As women, our reproductive health impacts our lives and there’s often no room made for it in workplaces, particularly those dominated by men,”’ shared Consumer Representative, Tessa Kowaliw. “It all comes down to how well we can rethink measures of success so that women can we recognised for the things that we do despite what we manage on the daily.”

President, Dr Gibson explained how three biases – credibility, capability, and capacity bias – often prevent aspiring women from taking up senior leadership positions. “The approach has to be to look at those biases and why they exist, what the enablers are, and what can we do reduce them.” Associate Professor Henry commented, “Don’t assume that because a woman has young children or is working part time that she is not interested in leadership, or opportunities which will lead to a leadership position.”

An intersectional approach must be taken to understanding and combating inequities for First Nations women. With respect to closing the gap in healthcare between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and non-Indigenous women, Dr Clarke said, “Everyone needs to be a part of the solution… We all have influence in our daily clinical interactions… All of us play a role at an individual level but addressing inequities at a systematic level is required. Examine in your own clinical life what you are doing to close the gap.”

Gender equity within research and academia is still lacking and care systems focus on a siloed approach which negatively impacts health outcomes for women, said Associate Professor Henry. “It has been hard to gain traction and funding in this space…. We need to invest in holistic care systems to break down those silos and see care as a continuity throughout a woman’s lifespan.”

Dr Gibson, highlighted our responsibility as a College to advocate for women and girls’ rights every day. “As RANZCOG President, every day I look at the lives of different women, and how their lives impact upon their health. We all need to be actively thinking about how we can use our influence to impact better outcomes for women, every day.” 

Gender equity is synonymous with a prospering economy and creates a more harmonious society for all. “Gender equity should be a positive for everybody… overall we’re all growing a better workplace, a better society through this. We have to be conscious of highlighting that and bringing everybody with us,” surmised Associate Professor Henry.

We thank our facilitator, Dr Nisha Khot, and panellists, Associate Professor Amanda Henry, Dr Marilyn Clarke, Tessa Kowaliw, and Dr Gillian Gibson, for sharing their perspectives and helping us to further these important conversations in pursuit of our mission. 

The core value of RANZCOG is to strive for ‘excellence and equity in women’s health’ and as part of accomplishing this, we acknowledge the College’s responsibility to help accelerate the pace of reforms which will enable women to benefit fully and equally. To effect positive advancements on a wider scale, it’s imperative that the College embodies the change it hopes to see.

RANZCOG is committed to championing inclusivity and gender equity in the workplace. Implementing a comprehensive Gender Equity and Diversity Policy to promote, advance, and support gender equity and diversity practices at the College has been an important step forward in our equity journey.

The policy sets out a framework to safeguard equitable participation for all, by effectively including gender equity as a top strategic priority. Key areas of focus include fostering a more representative leadership, transparent salary review processes, and promoting shared caring responsibility through the provision of gender-neutral parental leave. RANZCOG has also set a gold standard for paid menstruation and menopause leave. 

Underscoring the College’s dedication to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace, for the second year running RANZCOG has been ranked within the “Top 101 Workplaces for Women” by WORK180 – a global jobs network helping connect women with workplaces they can trust.

Thousands of workplaces were scored across 10 standards, including hiring practices, leadership diversity, paid parental leave, flexible working, and inclusive and anti-discriminatory behaviour. RANZCOG ranked competitively across all categories – coming third in Australia for paid paternal leave specifically – rivaling some of Australia’s largest employers.

“It’s great to be one of those 101 organisations especially when we are competing against major employers with enormous resources. When it comes to our employees, I’m very proud of what we have achieved,” said Vase Jovanoska, RANZCOG’s CEO.

RANZCOG recognises progress towards gender equality is enduring. Looking beyond International Women’s Day, the College encourages its trainees, members, and staff to amplify women’s voices, and lead efforts to tackle inequities. Only through collective efforts and solidarity will we create a world where every woman and girl can fulfill her true potential.

Read about how this year’s IWD theme resonates with eleven clinicians from across the Pacific, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Australia.

1. The International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization, The gender pay gap in the health and care sector – a global analysis in the time of COVID-19. (2022): The gender pay gap in the health and care sector a global analysis in the time of COVID-19 (who.int) 

2. Hempenstall A, Tomlinson J and Bismark M. Gender inequity in medicine and medical leadership. The Medical Journal of Australia 2019: Gender inequity in medicine and medical leadership | The Medical Journal of Australia (mja.com.au) 

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