UNSW has joined an Australia-first pilot program to improve the promotion and retention of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.
The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program, launched today at Parliament House, is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
The pilot – designed to address the chronic underrepresentation of women in STEM disciplines – is the first Australian trial of the successful UK Athena SWAN gender equity accreditation program, which has been operating for a decade. The first group of participants includes universities, medical research institutes and the CSIRO.
UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs says the University is proud to be an inaugural participant in the SAGE pilot.
"UNSW is committed to becoming an exemplar of best practice in equity and diversity to enable staff and students to reach their full potential."
“I congratulate the academies on this game-changing initiative. I have seen first-hand the positive impact of the Athena SWAN program in the UK,” says Professor Jacobs, who joined UNSW in February from the University of Manchester.
“UNSW is committed to becoming an exemplar of best practice in equity and diversity to enable staff and students to reach their full potential. It is front and centre of our developing 2025 strategy.”
The SAGE pilot will rate the gender equity policies and practices of participating organisations with a gold, silver or bronze award.
“The program will involve 24 months of data collection and analysis, and identify institutional strategies for improvement,” says Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) Professor Laura Poole-Warren, who will lead the UNSW pilot.
“This program builds on UNSW’s current suite of outstanding development initiatives in place to tackle gender equity in both the academic and professional staff groups, including the Academic and Professional Women in Leadership Programs.
“We are excited by the opportunity the SAGE pilot provides to drive deeper analysis of the effectiveness of our current initiatives as well as underpin development of new strategies,” Professor Poole-Warren says.
Read more about UNSW's trailblazing female professors in the latest Research@UNSW: 15 women changing our world.