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Empowering growth and leadership: towards gender equity in your institution

An improved gender balance in the leadership of our field is an exciting and formidable objective, and interests many of us no matter what our gender. This session focuses on creating an inclusive organisational culture. Through a series of interactive activities, the speakers will share research, organisational strategies and practical methods that senior managers can use as they work towards gender equity in their institutions.

Topics such as how to recognise and reorganise disempowering organisational structures, how to ensure equal voice across gender lines, and how to foster role models and mentors for your staff, will move all of us closer to creating a culture of positive change and therefore the enhanced success of our field.


Audrey OConnel
Museum Consulting
Audrey O’Connell + Associates
United States

Session speakers

Museum of London
United Kingdom
Sharon Ament's long career in the zoo and museum field has included the leadership and management of increasingly larger staffs, many of whom are women. In addition to her own growth, as a museum director she has learned many skills to allow her to do an ever better job of empowering both women and men to build their careers in ways that best suit them. She has been a significant mentor to many.
Vice President of Exhibitions
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Gretchen Baker has worked her way up through the ranks of exhibition development roles in the Field Museum to positions of increasing responsibility, including the management of staff working under great pressure for tight exhibition deadlines. Her advancement to Los Angeles Vice President of Exhibition requires her to step up to a new level of responsibility and team management while at the same time juggling her life as a new mother. Her insights into management of teams and also practical solutions for shifts in parenting models will make a strong contribution to this session
Senior Research Scientist
University of Washington
During her many years as a member of the senior management team at the Exploratorium, Bronwyn Bevan has built a great reputation in the field of informal education and for writing winning grants for the implementation of innovative new practices in teaching and learning in museums and science centres. Currently a senior research scientist at the University of Washington’s LIFE Center – a National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center – her work in the field of informal and formal learning continues, some of it related to diversity issues. She has a great deal of experience managing people, teams, managing remotely, and juggling her own career growth with family.
Director General
National Museums of World Culture
Ann Follin is a believer in taking chances, pushing yourself forward, trusting in your own judgement, and in mentoring and supporting men and women in their quest towards successful careers. Having started her career as a young woman interested in museums, she has advanced through a number of different areas of museum work including exhibitions and project management, and up to senior management roles in several organisations. Now as the leader of a large group of museums in Stockholm which she is restructuring, she is encountering many kinds of challenges for herself, and her teams. Her insights into the importance of empowerment and growth will lend real value to this session.