Meet Dr Anjali Dhulia, our lead to for the Gender Equity subcommittee
Dr Dhulia is part of our Equity and Inclusion Committee at Monash Health and is making a difference to our community by driving change and ensuring we provide fair opportunities and fair outcomes, regardless of gender.
- What is your role at Monash Health?
Director Medical Services and Patient Experience
- What is your favourite part about being the lead for our gender equity subcommittee?
I feel both proud and privileged to be part of this work and I hope that it will take Monash Health closer to becoming a leader in this important area. The contribution of gender in the Equity and Inclusion Strategy focuses attention and resource towards creating a work environment where all employees can enjoy equal opportunities, resources and rewards, regardless of gender.
- Have you always been passionate about gender equity in the workplace and if not, when did your passion start?
To be honest, I did not think much about gender equity while I was a student or even in the early days of my career. There was always an equal number of women and men around me and there did not seem to be any barriers to what I wanted to do in my professional life. However, when I was in more senior roles, I started noticing that my colleagues were predominantly male, but I still put it down to people’s choices.
In 2015, I had the privilege of working with Professor Helena Teede to develop the Women in Medicine program. That was when I started understanding the modifiable structural and cultural causes of the gender gap that we see across the world, especially in economic participation and political empowerment. Since then, I have schooled myself on this issue and am working with colleagues, both male and female to make a difference in this area.
- Why do you think gender equity is important in workplaces?
I think that in general, diversity at all levels is important in the workplace. It brings a wide range of talents and perspectives, which makes the workplace richer in its ideas, decisions and outcomes. To attain that diversity, it’s important that there is equal opportunity for all groups to enter and progress, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, ability or any other specific attribute. But we know that due to biological, social or economic differences amongst groups of people or due to conscious or unconscious biases, not everyone has the same or fair opportunities available to them.
Therefore, if the workplace is to be truly diverse and represent the community that it serves, it is important that we ensure that principles of fairness govern our systems and processes and our culture promotes equity and inclusion. By ensuring gender diversity at all levels of the workforce, we will ensure that we have access to a wider talent pool and benefit from the wide range of perspectives, skills and attributes that all genders bring.
- As a woman in a leadership role at Monash Health, what advice would you give for aspiring women in our organisation?
I have learnt from my daughters not to give advice. My own experience has been that over time I have learnt to be kind to myself and not regret the decisions I have made about family and work. It all turned out right in the end. I have learnt to lean in to opportunities and always put my hand up and not be surprised when I get what I asked for. I have learnt that partnerships and support networks are important and it is okay to ask for help.
- What key action from the Equity and Inclusion strategy are you most passionate about implementing?
All of them are important but implementing breastfeeding rooms at all major sites by the end of the year would give me most satisfaction.
We are moving towards exciting things with many new implementations, and the commitment to create an inclusive environment and experience for our community. To read more about what we are doing to embed equity and inclusion into everyday life at Monash Health, read our Equity and Inclusion Strategy 2018 – 2023 here.