Pathways to Politics Program for Women

by University of Melbourne

(Academia)

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The program provides women with the skills, networks and confidence to run for election at a local, state or federal level.

Project implemented: November 2015

Project goal

To increase female participation across all levels of Australian public office

delivering on

why is this project important?

Australia’s ranking for women in national government compared to other countries has declined, currently 50th in the world.

Key steps to make it happen

1Seek accomplished women

Recruit a cohort of women from across the political spectrum, accomplished in their field, and with diverse life experience

2Provide role models

Program participants experience inspiring sessions with Australian parliamentarians and leading public figures

3Offer skill development

Program participants build practical skills and networks required to seek election via discussions and expert workshops

4Build a strong community

Support program alumni as they continue their pathway to politics via regular networking events and mentoring opportunities

impact to date

49
participants to date
3
participants elected to date
10
participants preselected for elections
6
political parties represented
94%
participants reporting an increase in confidence to run for elected office

Strong networks created across party lines

Development of skills to succeed in politics

The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is designed to redress the continued under-representation of women in Australian politics. In 2014 less than one-third of parliamentarians and only one-fifth of ministers were women. This is a problem of national and global significance.

It is Australia’s first non-partisan initiative providing women from across the political spectrum with the training and support they need to ascend in the electoral process at the local, state and national levels.

The program was initiated by the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, funded by the Trawalla Foundation and delivered by the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne. Modelled on the Harvard Square to Oval Office program at the Kennedy School of Government, Pathways to Politics is designed to through hands-on training, by growing their professional and personal network, and connecting them with women leaders who have shattered the glass ceiling in the public sector.

The Pathways to Politics Program for Women is designed to redress the continued under-representation of women in Australian politics. In 2014 less than one-third of parliamentarians and only one-fifth of ministers were women. This is a problem of national and global significance.

It is Australia’s first non-partisan initiative providing women from across the political spectrum with the training and support they need to ascend in the electoral process at the local, state and national levels.

The program was initiated by the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, funded by the Trawalla Foundation and delivered by the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne. Modelled on the Harvard Square to Oval Office program at the Kennedy School of Government, Pathways to Politics is designed to through hands-on training, by growing their professional and personal network, and connecting them with women leaders who have shattered the glass ceiling in the public sector.

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