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“We’ve had gender parity among medical students since 1990, yet the trickle up approach hasn’t worked. Progress to parity at supervisory and leadership levels has stalled. There are large gender pay gaps for equally trained and skilled professionals in all craft groups. And even where women doctors are primary breadwinners for their families, they tend to shoulder a greater burden of childcare and domestic work.”

Dr Tessa Kennedy, Chair, AMA Council of Doctors in Training in Gender equity – we found the will but have we lost our way? Australian Medicine, 12 June 2018.



Event details

Program information

Speaker information

Speaker presentations

Organisations attending

AMA policy and advocacy on equity, inclusion and diversity

Reports, resources and initiatives

Selected research and reading

AMA Gender Equity Summmit Report 2019



The AMA is proud to be convening the 2019 AMA Gender Equity Summit on Saturday 23 March 2019 in Sydney. The Summit will bring together a range of stakeholders to discuss the cultural and practical barriers to achieving gender equity in medicine. Attendance at the Summit is by invitation only.

In the morning session we have a invited a range of speakers with the aim of learning how other industries have successfully shaped culture and systems to encourage gender equity in the workplace, and how this might translate to changing medical workplaces and culture. This will be followed by a panel session looking at how medical and health organisations have worked to make changes in medicine to achieve gender equity.

The afternoon session will explore what practical recommendations can be implemented to address the underlying systemic and cultural barriers and contributors that impede our progress towards achieving gender equity, and where possible, equality in medicine.

We hope the result of the Summit will be a list of priority actions to improve gender equity in medicine. A full report of the Summit will be available by the end of April and while the Summit recommendations are not binding, they will inform the development of an AMA action plan on equity and diversity in 2019.

We look forward to discussing how we can work together to make a real difference to gender equity and diversity in the medical workplace and to facilitating the development of practical recommendations that the AMA can pursue in collaboration with other stakeholders. 

Dr Tony Bartone, President

Dr Tessa Kennedy, Chair, AMA Council of Doctors in Training

Dr Helen McArdle, Chair, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee

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Event details

Thank you for confirming your attendance at the AMA Gender Equity Summit. 


Date: Saturday 23 March 2019

Location: Vibe Hotel Sydney, 111 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000

Time: 9:30am-5:00pm

*Breastfeeding/carers facilities available*

Car Parking

The closest car park is the Goulburn Street Parking Station. The address is the corner of Goulburn Street and Elizabeth Street. This car park is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Car park Rates on the Weekend:

  • Saturday $15.00 all day parking
  • Sunday $10.00 all day parking 

It’s not too late to email initiatives

If you haven’t already done so, please forward any existing initiatives or activities that you/your organisation is undertaking in this space, to and we’ll load them onto the website for information.

The AMA looks forward to having you attend the 2019 AMA Gender Equity Summit.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions at

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Program information

9:30 – 10:00am Registration & Morning Tea

10:00 – 10:10am Welcome & Summit overview

10:10 – 11:00am Keynote address

  • Ms Libby Lyons, Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency

11:00am-12:00pm Panel Session One: Lessons learnt from industries outside of medicine

  • Ms Cecelia Herbert, Lead Employee Experience Scientist, Qualtrics
  • Ms Janet Menzies, General Manager, Cochlear Australia and New Zealand
  • Ms Rhian Richardson, Board Diversity Manager, Australian Institute of Company Director

12:00-1:00pm Panel Session Two: Making change in medicine

  • Dr Cathy Ferguson, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Dr David Martin, Australian Orthopaedic Association
  • Dr Simon Judkins, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
  • Dr Victoria Atkinson, Healthscope

1.00-2:00pm Lunch

2:00-3:30pm Session Three: Workshop translating intent into action

  • Increased presence of women in academia, leadership and management roles
  • Work-life balance
  • Pregnancy and parenthood
  • Changes in organisational culture
  • Workforce planning and research

Short refreshment break

3:30 – 4:15pm Session Four: Identification of top priorities

4:15 – 4:45pm Post Summit Networking

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Speaker information

Ms Libby Lyons, Workplace Gender Equality AgencyDr Cecelia Herbert, Qualtrics
Ms Janet Menzies, Male Champions of Change; Australian and New Zealand, Cochlear LimitedMs Rhian Richardson, Australian Institute of Company Directors
Dr Cathy Ferguson, Royal Australasian College of SurgeonsDr David Martin, Australian Orthopaedic Association
Dr Simon Judkins, Australasian College for Emergency MedicineDr Victoria Atkinson, Healthscope

Speaker biographies

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Speaker presentations 

Ms Libby Lyons, Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Ms Rhian Richardson, Australian Institute of Company Directors

Dr Cathy Ferguson, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Dr David Martin, Australian Orthopaedic Association

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Organisations attending

AMA Australian Capital Territory

AMA Council of Doctors in Training

AMA Council of General Practice

AMA Council of Rural Doctors

AMA Council of Specialist Private Practice

AMA Equity inclusion and diversity committee

AMA Federal

AMA Federal Council

AMA New South Wales

AMA Northern Territory

AMA Queensland

AMA South Australia

AMA Victoria

AMA Western Australia

Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians

Australasian Junior Medical Officers Committee

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Australian Institute of Company Directors

Australian Medical Council

Australian Medical Students’ Association

Australian Orthopaedic Association

Australian Society of Anaesthetists

Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine

Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology

Chief Executive Women


College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand

Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges

Doctors’ Health Services

General Practice Registrars Australia


Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand

Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life Project

Queensland Health

Ramsay Health Care Australia

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

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AMA policy and advocacy on equity, inclusion and diversity

2018 AMA National Conference

Delegates at the 2018 AMA National Conference passed two motions focused on strengthening the implementation of legal obligations in relation to pregnancy, parental leave and return to work, and developing strategies to drive cultural change within the profession and workplace in support of equal participation across gender in the medical workforce.

That our AMA:

  1. reiterates its support for equal opportunity in the medical workforce, and
  2. calls on employers, medical associations, the learned colleges, and members of the profession to commit to:
    1. developing and disseminating clear, comprehensive and consistent information about employer obligations, employee rights and leading practices and strategies in relation to pregnancy, parental leave and return to work
    2. identifying and removing harmful stereotypes, practices and behaviours about pregnant women and working parents to eliminate discrimination related to pregnancy, parental leave and return to work.

That, noting the AMA position on Sexual harassment in the medical workforce – 2015, our AMA establishes practical recommendations that could be implemented into the healthcare system to address the underlying systemic factors that impede the health system’s ability to adequately address gender equality.

Both motions were approved at the November 2018 AMA Federal Council meeting.

Position statements

The AMA has developed a policy in support of equal participation in the medical workforce. These include:


AMA Submission to the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces 2019. The submission to the inquiry has highlighted the need to improve leadership competencies and promote diversity.  The AMA accepts evidence that workplace sexual harassment is widespread in the health sector and supports initiatives to stop its destructive effects. Where this behaviour continues, the rights & wellbeing of individuals and the efficiency of organisations’ is undermined which can lead to less than optimum health care.

AMA Submission to the RACS Expert Advisory Group on Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment 2015. The submission highlights that there is no place for discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment in the practice of surgery or in any modern workplace, outlines many of the contributing factors and discusses potential solutions. It also emphasises the need for a 'whole of profession' approach as well greater cooperation between employers, unions, colleges and professional bodies like the AMA.

AMA Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee

The AMA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee was established in 2017 to work on this issue at an internal level. The AMA has formed an Equity Inclusion and Diversity Committee (EIDC). The EIDC will provide the AMA with a forum for the identification and consideration of equity issues and is intended to develop policy and initiatives targeted towards enhancing equity and addressing any inequitable and discriminatory practices that may exist in the medical community. It will also consider how the AMA can actively promote equity and diversity of representation within the AMA’s own governance structures.


  • The AMA Woman in Medicine Award was established in 1998 and is presented to a woman who has made a major contribution to the medical profession by showing ongoing commitment to quality care, or through her contribution to medical research, public health projects, or improving the availability and accessibility of medical education and medical training for women.
  • The AMA Future Leaders program was established in 2016 and provides doctors in training with an opportunity to learn about the Federal political process, the development of AMA policy, and working with media and political decision-makers.
  • In 2016 AMA Federal Council asked the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association to appoint/elect a doctor to represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people on AMA Federal Council.
  • The AMA ran a Sexual Harassment Roundtable in April 2015 following reports of bullying and sexual harassment in the surgical profession.
  • The AMA Indigenous Medical Scholarship is a program that has supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to study medicine since 1994.

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Reports, resources and initiatives

ANZCA Gender Equity resource

Chief Executive Women A long way to the top February 2019

Queensland Health Gender Equity Strategies and Initiatives

RACGP Gender Equity report

RACS Diversity and Inclusion plan

RANZCO Gender Equity report


SAGE – A Pilot of Athena SWAN

Women in STEM Decadal Plan Submission

Workplace Gender Equality Agency Gender strategy toolkit

World Medical Association Statement on Gender Equality in Medicine

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Selected research and reading


Advancing women in science, medicine, and global health, The Lancet, 9-15 Feb 2019

New research reveals why there are more men than women in surgery, RACS, Media release, 8 Feb 2019


Emma Watson Gender equality is your issue too

Male Champions of Change Avoiding the merit trap

Male Champions of Change Backlash and Buy-in: Responding to the Challenges in Achieving Gender Equality

The problem with that equity vs. equality graphic you’re using

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