(An initiative of the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD)
The purpose of the forum is to engage with women (both corporate and clinical) within the MNCLHD to participate in shaping their own future and setting the benchmark for women with development and leadership opportunities.
Sponsored by the MNCLHD Director Communications & Corporate Strategy, the forum provides an avenue for women to listen and network with key speakers, the Executive and their peers sharing experiences and advice on how they can progress their journey with personal development and leadership.
Most participants report that WIFI Forums held in 2016 have had a positive influence on them and inspired them as to what their future career in health can look like. Attendees networked outcomes they perceived would provide pathways for learning and development. This information has become a valuable resource guiding the MNCLHD in how to assist women in the health workforce to keep a focus on and achieve their goals and be innovative leaders in delivery of health care and best patient outcomes.
Within the MNCLHD itself, women hold 50% of the senior positions on the Governing Board (5 out of 11 are women) and the Executive Team (6 out of 11 are women). This is a heartening statistic, although not perfect as women also comprise the majority of employees in this sector and health district, and so we might aim to see women take up 80% of the senior positions.
Previous research has established that women feel more confident in raising issues of concern linked to their working lives and careers, and self-censor less, in a group of women. They experience greater levels of inherent support in forum with other women, and women respond to the visibility of successful women and their narratives. And so the basis for establishing the Women in Future Innovation WIFI Program was to foster social and workplace conditions which promoted and supported the uptake of career leadership positions.
The first WIFI session was held in March 2016 with the above broad aim, and became the forum for the specific aims and strategies to be identified by the 72 attendees. Following this first session, and the naming of the program, the Women in Future Innovation (WIFI) determined to:
- enhance networks
- facilitate culture change
- seek a more equal workforce
- foster greater job satisfaction
- enhance work/life balance
- increase confidence and
- enhance engagement and retention.
WIFI feedback confirmed women are looking for opportunity, access, mentors, support and resources. The attendees have demonstrated their enthusiasm for this initiative and their desire for this to be successful. By using on-line forums, having access to e-resources (24/7) and establishing contact lists of motivated mentors were key suggestions.
Three WIFI sessions were held across 2016 in different locations across the MNCLHD. All female staffs are invited to attend the WIFI sessions. Organisers and senior staff have received adhoc feedback from WIFI participants but the time has come to more systematically collect feedback and suggestions from the MNCLHD female staff.
Click here for the WIFI Agenda – 1 September 2017
Click here to register for the WIFI Forum – 1 September 2017