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Celebrating International Women's Day

07 Mar 2022


As the world marks International Women’s Day on 8 March, women and men across our community and within our own Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) workforce will celebrate women’s achievements and consider the bold action still required to create a more gender inclusive world.

More than three quarters of the workforce at NBMLHD are women. That makes International Women’s Day especially significant as we reflect upon our role in delivering greater equality in opportunities, education and empowerment in women.

NBMLHD is proudly an employer of choice for women with many inspiring women in senior and executive roles throughout the District.

International Women’s Day holds particular significance for one member of our leadership team, Dr Kelly Thompson, who is NBMLHD’s Director of Research Operations. 

As a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Emerging Leader Investigator, Dr Thompson has a well established reputation for transdisciplinary research programs. Her research focuses on understanding sex and gender difference in health outcomes and improving maternal health outcomes, within the clinical arena of infection and sepsis.

“Why and how gender inequality occurs ultimately comes down to the underlying structures of power and privilege that rule the world and how these structures universally privilege men,” Dr Thompson says.

“The impacts of these unbalanced power structures have and will continue to be devastating for women, which is why marking days like International Women’s Day is important to me,” she says.

Dr Thompson hopes that her research discovers blind spots to help improve understanding and create solutions to address the gendered determinants of health.

As an emerging health research leader, Dr Thompson says she hopes her “brutally honest approach” inspires others.

“I feel very uncomfortable tiptoeing around gendered issues. If I see something that is blatantly wrong or unfair, whether conscious or unconscious bias, I try to raise it, even if only subtly. It’s a part of learning to be confident to use my voice to stand up for what is right and fair,” says Dr Thompson.

“There are excellent role models in the NBMLHD leadership team, including women who really do get it and who, like me, want to change the system to better support women. This makes me feel well supported in my role and like I have come to the right place.”

Dr Thompson says she also hopes that other women coming up through the ranks who are passionate and driven to change the system, see that it is possible.

“As the saying goes, you can’t be what you can’t see,” says Dr Thompson.

We want to thank all the women in our health services and facilities for their commitment, hardwork and the actions they take to create a more gender inclusive world. We wish you a happy International Women’s Day!