From Barriers to Bridges: Empowering gender equity in academics to better prepare students for employability

Education Focussed Lunch & Learn series

About this event

The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) EF Community of Practice (EF CoP), in partnership with the Teaching for Equity and Diversity (TED) EF CoP,  invites you to a Lunch & Learn event featuring Professor Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi as part of the EF Visiting Teaching Fellowship. Hosted by Dr. Natalie Oh from the School of Banking & Finance, this session will focus on preparing students for workplace integrated learning and future employability through an exploration of gender dynamics in academia.

Topics include:

  • Uncovering implicit bias: Is there a gender bias in academia?
  • Stylised facts: Female representation in academic leadership. Australia and the international context
  • Barriers: Understanding the roots - challenges for women in academia
  • Bridges: What helps? On the effectiveness of different gender equality measures.
  • Outlook: What can you do to promote change?

Lunch will be served before the start of the presentation. 

About the Presenters:

Prof Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi

Dr Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi is a Professor of Finance at the University of Mannheim and Academic Director of the Berlin Center of Corporate Governance (BCCG). She is also a research fellow at the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) and associate editor of the Journal of Corporate Finance.

Her research interests are in the fields of corporate governance, behavioural finance, and asset management. A special focus of her research is on gender differences on financial markets. Professor Niessen-Ruenzi’s research is published in top ranked academic journals and is also regularly featured by the business press and news media. She presents her work at leading international conferences and is a regular speaker on gender topics in the financial industry. Her research papers won several prizes, including best paper awards at the Academy of Management, Rothschild Caesarea IDC Conference and Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics. Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi is married and has twin daughters.

Dr Natalie Oh

As a Senior Lecturer in the School of Banking and Finance, UNSW Business school, Dr Natalie Oh is committed to exploring how Business Education aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) - in particular; Quality Education (SDG4), Gender Equality (SDG5), Reduce Inequality (SDG10) and Partnerships for achieving the goals (SDG17). Her work in developing specialised programs in Business ethics, and with targeted groups including Indigenous, marginalised, elite and female students has been internationally recognised in the award of Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). Natalie’s approach to developing curricula is to encourage students to take ownership of their learning through practical experience and in partnering with industry. Natalie’s research interests include market microstructures, behavioural finance and capital markets. She has published in major international finance journals, such as the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Banking and Finance and the Pacific Basin Finance Journal. She has held consultancy role in the World Bank in Washington DC on their Financial Sector Assessment program. Natalie runs a not-for-profit organisation, working on eradicating poverty and assisting low income developing countries. She has worked with other NGOs distributing food and medicine to low income developing countries and she teaches higher education on a voluntary basis in developing countries, including Kenya and Mongolia.

About the WIL EF Community of Practice:

The WIL CoP is an Education Focused community who works together to support the design and delivery of WIL through collaboration to share best practices, co-design artefacts that can be applied to WIL courses, and co-design professional development for WIL staff.

Student feedback is used to identify barriers and opportunities for WIL across UNSW ensuring the student voice is heard in everything we do.

It is our mission as a CoP to strive to support UNSW’s 2025 Strategy to further advance UNSW’s contribution to academic excellence, social impact & global engagement. WIL CoP has recognised the value of meaningful WIL experience in Career Enhanced Education & Employability. Equity in Learning, Accessibility, Student Motivation & Partner Engagement are all areas we are exploring moving forward to ensure we continue to provide authentic, equitable, and meaningful experiences for our students.

WIL EF CoP Academic Leads
Ms Siobhan Ryan
Ms Suzanne Schibeci
Dr Sara Shirowzhan

TED EF CoP Academic Leads
Dr Joyce Wu 
Dr. Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson
Mr Jason O'Neil

If you are interested in joining WIL or TED EF CoPs, please get in touch with their Project Officer Melanie Cross at; she can help you sign up.

This event is a part of the EF Lunch & Learn series, which will each be hosted each time by a different EF Community of Practice (CoP). It is an opportunity to showcase the wonderful work of the CoPs across the wider University community.