A leap forward for gender equity and diversity

5 December 2018

Fifteen Australian institutions have been recognised for efforts to improve gender equity and diversity, receiving inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze Awards from Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE).

Nicolle Flint, MP for Boothby, representing Prime Minister Scott Morrison, presented the awards at Parliament House in Canberra on 5 December.

SAGE is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science.

Evidence is already emerging that the program is having a positive impact, including:

  • increased career satisfaction and opportunities
  • improved working practices to support career progression
  • increased visibility of women in science
  • an increased proportion of women in STEMM – science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine – departments nationally

Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering President, Professor Hugh Bradlow FTSE, said: “As part of Australia’s first Athena SWAN cohort, these organisations have shown true leadership.

“Collectively, they have taken on the Athena SWAN Charter and framework which makes them accountable for improving gender equity, and diversity and inclusion within their workplaces.

“They are true pioneers of this innovative Pilot, that is already transforming gender equity and diversity in Australia’s higher education and research sector for the better.”

SAGE was set up to pilot the UK’s Athena SWAN Charter and accreditation framework in Australia and forms an important part of the Government’s Women in STEM Strategy and the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.

Photo: Bradley Cummings

Photo: Bradley Cummings

Executive Director, SAGE, Dr Wafa El-Adhami said that since SAGE began, the STEMM higher education and research sector in Australia had stepped up significantly to address gender equity and diversity.

“Every institution on the SAGE journey that is implementing the Athena SWAN framework has chosen to make a positive difference to its workplace and culture for its staff.

“The commitment to transparency, to take action and to be held accountable is the true sign of leadership and a pledge to improve gender equity and diversity,” said Dr El-Adhami.

Elizabeth Broderick AO FTSE, lawyer, former Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Special Adviser to SAGE, said the enthusiasm with which the sector had embraced the SAGE Pilot was exciting.

“It gives me enormous confidence that the sector is elevating the issue of gender equality and taking strong action. Congratulations to those receiving a Bronze Award.”

The awardees are:

  • Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
  • Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Curtin University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Ms Flint also recognised South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Southern Cross University, University of Canberra, University of Melbourne and University of Western Australia for their progress to date towards Bronze Award accreditation.

Find out more about SAGE.