In celebration of International Women’s Day, we highlight some of the amazing work done by our Director, Partnerships, Clinical Education and Planning, Renee Chmielewski.

Renee has worked in healthcare for over 35 years and started at the Eye and Ear in 2017. Beginning her career in health as a nurse, Renee was given the opportunity to further her skills and apply her experiences in a different way to better patient outcomes.

Currently, Renee manages the Nursing Education, Aboriginal Health, Volunteer and Consumer Engagement, and Clinical Education teams as well as leading the Strategic and Business Planning, and Enterprise Risk portfolios.

We asked Renee to talk about what she hopes to see for gender equality in the workplace and the role the women in shaping her career.

Renee Chmielewski holding the Board Chairs Medal she was bestowed with at the 2021 Eye and Ear Excellence Awards. She stands inbetween CEO Brendon Gardner and Board Chair Sherene Devanesen.
Renee Chmielewski at the 2021 Excellence Awards where she was awarded the Board Chairs Medal. Renee stands between CEO Brendon Gardner and Board Chair Sherene Devanesen.

Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress

On International Women’s Day, I’d like to acknowledge the fabulous women I’ve had the privilege to work with throughout my career. Amongst these have been a number of strong female role models and mentors who have inspired and supported me to further my career whilst balancing my family responsibilities.

In relation to gender equality, nursing is historically skewed towards women – 88% of Australian nurses identified as women in 2022. Having worked in public health my whole working life, there have been many opportunities to progress my career and to have my voice heard in discussions and decision making at many levels throughout the system, but I recognise not all women have this opportunity. In many industries, including healthcare, gender inequality is still very present.

For women in positions of power or influence, it is our obligation to represent those women who don’t have a strong voice to advocate for themselves or their position. Together we can create change which will have positive impacts well into the future for our children, family, friends, our wider community, even for people we will never meet, for many generations to come.

The Eye and Ear Hospital are proud to have an Equity and Inclusion Coordinator and we are currently updating our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan.  This will sit alongside our Gender Equality Action Plan which you can read here.