Last week the CSIRO’s Innovation Catalyst Global (IC Global) team took out the award for Excellence in the Government category at the #TechDiversity Awards in Melbourne, surrounded by supporters, foundation members and ambassadors.

The award-winning entry was for their Expert Connect platform, in particular it’s FindHer filter which enables users to filter search results by gender, to easily find women in any area of research. Expert Connect is an online database of Australian experts and researchers from over 220 research organisations.

Over that past few years of development, the IC Global team noticed the sheer number of directories from different organisations for women to be profiled in their fields, putting the onus on them to proactively create and maintain several listings.

As a response to this issue, the team implemented a filter in their existing directory of over 70,000 individuals to highlight women experts and launched the FindHer filter for International Women’s Day 2019.

This problem of ‘database fatigue’ has also been addressed by the platform being built on open data principles with automatic profile generation and maintenance; Any new journal publications, patents or grants are automatically added to the relevant profile.

“We’re very proud of the fact that you find the women experts in the same place you find all of the experts. When you place women on a segregated platform the people that go to find them are kind of the people that are already converted and what we’re trying to do here is to change something more than that” said Rebecca Hinton, IC Global Manager at CSIRO.

Nominations were judged on a variety of factors, including uniqueness, commitment and behavioural change, courage and leadership, and the contribution it has to diversity in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) sectors. The IC Global platform stood out due to its highly digital offering, STEM content and national appeal.

The #TechDiversity Awards were created to inspire tech-based organisations to implement programs and initiatives that promote diversity and build momentum for the future. Now in its third year, the awards recognise people that are creating change and raises their profiles “to share their stories of courage and commitment, and to amplify their achievements, and to inspire others to act”.

“Winning the ‘Excellence in Government’ category whilst being cheered on by many of our partners and collaborators was a fitting way to end the evening, and of course help build momentum for the global scaling to come.” stated Zoe Piper, IC Global Lead at CSIRO, in her article Women’s Work.

You can learn more about Expert Connect and use the FindHer filter for yourself over at expertconnect.global where over 5000 highly qualified women from all fields of research can now be easily discovered.

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