The Australian Academy of the Humanities: Gender and the Future Workforce

(L-R) Frances Flanagan, Joy Damousi, Shelagh Magadza, Shino Konishi. Photo, Samantha Owen.

(L-R) Frances Flanagan, Joy Damousi, Shelagh Magadza, Shino Konishi. Photo, Samantha Owen.

The Gender and the Future Workforce panel on 22 July 2019 at SLWA was one in a series to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Academy “to acknowledge the contribution of the humanities to understanding our past and making sense of the present, and consider the role that the humanities will play in humanising the future”.

The panel explored the role of gender equity in building a strong and diverse future workforce. The speakers on the panel were:

  • Professor Joy Damousi FASSA FAHA: Academy President, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Chief Investigator for the Future Humanities Workforce project. Professor of History, University of Melbourne

  • Dr Frances Flanagan: University of Sydney Fellow in Work and Organisational Studies.

  • Shelagh Magadza: Executive Director, WA Chamber of Arts and Culture.

  • Dr Shino Konishi: facilitator.  

The panel opened with a discussion of casualisation in the academy, which now sits at around 70 per cent. of the workforce, and raised the serious question of how careers can be supported in the face of such uncertainty. The discussion also covered the care economy, outsourcing, quotas, workplace inequalities, the role of AI and ageing. The focus was on the human and what the changing nature of work means for our futures. Frances Flanagan argued that jobs do not have to become gigs, the compartmentalisation of job roles is not inevitable and instead we could “rebundle” jobs as roles change from the impacts of automation and other technological advance. The event highlighted the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ Future Humanities Workforce project, which is studying the contribution and preparedness of Australia’s humanities research workforce for the future of work in academia and beyond.

Samantha Owen

Flametree Creative