Case study: Franklin Women


As a straight, white, able-bodied man, I’m all too aware that the system is tipped heavily in my favour. People like me generally get greater career opportunities, better pay and fewer obstacles in work and in life. So I’m always keen to work for clients or on projects that help level the playing field for everyone.

As part of my partnership with Previsior, I’ve been lucky to work on one such project in the last few months. Franklin Women is a social enterprise that supports women working across the health and medical research ecosystem, who experience unique barriers above and beyond those experienced by women in other professional settings. Most notably, the gendered environments of academia generally favours men. This means women and gender diverse folk stagnate or leave the ecosystem altogether - talent lost from the system, never to return.

Franklin Women provides a vital role in this ecosystem, helping women to connect, support and mentor each other, working with organisations who are committed to Franklin Women’s mission to create a more diverse and inclusive sector. Despite a long track record of delivering high quality and high impact activities, the social enterprise did not have a clear pathway to sustainability. There was no shortage of champions providing moral support, and also a range of growth opportunities to explore, but inconsistent funding sources and resource challenges were taking their toll. Working with OHMR (the Office for Health and Medical Research, part of NSW Health), Previsior was engaged alongside PragmaTech and Hunton Executives to build the strategy and business plan for sustainability.

Our team was gender-diverse and had a wide range of experience across the healthcare sector and beyond. We conducted a thorough review of the landscape, both inside and outside Franklin Women, and uncovered a wide range of valuable insights - not least of which was the mutual benefit that could be unlocked by engaging more closely with corporate interests. Many of those in the community stood to benefit from being exposed to more commercial opportunities (including the world of start-ups), whereas commercial enterprises were keen to support and tap into this community for the long term benefit of themselves and the sector.

The resulting strategy and business plan included a detailed playbook for scaffolding the business in pursuit of these significant growth opportunities and the long-term impact of Franklin Women. This received widespread endorsement from all concerned, and contributed to a successful and significant funding bid to the NSW government to help accelerate the plan. We couldn’t be happier to have enabled the work of Franklin Women that benefits so many women working in the health and medical research ecosystem in NSW and beyond.

Franklin Women’s founder and Director Dr Melina Georgousakis had this to say after our project:

“Working with Phil and the wider Previsior team was such a positive experience for Franklin Women. It was great to be able to have access to their business development experience to challenge us around how we can think more commercially despite our social purpose. Ultimately we cannot have the impact we want to achieve if we do not have a sustainable model so I am excited about the years ahead where we can put some of this new thinking into practice.”