Science in Australia Gender Equity pilot program

Seeking participants for the Self-Assessment Team
11 October 2016

ANU is participating in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot program. The program is an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science, in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences that aims to address gender equity in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).

ANU staff can be involved by joining the Self-Assessment Team (SAT). This team will oversee, guide, prepare and submit the University's application for the SAGE Athena SWAN institutional Bronze Level Accreditation Award due in January 2019. Expressions of interest are now open for the SAT.

About the SAT

The SAT will comprise of 10-15 members, be chaired by Professor Richard Baker Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Experience) and be supported by a small team of professional staff. The SAT requires membership that is diverse and representational of all areas of the University and will include members with primary caring responsibilities.

The SAT's main responsibilities will be to:

  • collect, analyse and interrogate gender data across STEMM areas
  • prepare the application for the SAGE/Athena SWAN institutional Bronze Award (due January 2019), and
  • develop action plans to address issues identified.

Members of the SAT will be available for a two-year term from November this year, and will contribute around four houres each month for meetings, data analysis, reading and preparation..

How to apply

Applicants are invited to submit an Expression of Interest addressing the following criteria and forward it to SAGE@anu.edu.au by COB 25 October 2016. Applications should include:

  1. Your full name, University ID, position, work area supervisor and delegate endorsement (Research school director/college dean, general manager, service division director).
  2. A brief statement outlining why you are interested in contributing to the SAT and what you believe you could bring to the project (One to two paragraphs maximum).

Expressions of Interest will be reviewed by: SAT Chair, Professor Richard Baker, Pro Vice-Chancellor; Dr Nadine White, Director Human Resources; and Richelle Hilton, Director Planning and Performance Measurement.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome once the selection process has been completed.  

About the SAGE pilot program

The Australian Academy of Science established the SAGE initiative in 2014 to explore options for advancing gender equity in Australian STEMM disciplines.

In 2013 no women were elected to the Academy Fellowship. In response to this, the SAGE Forum was held in 2014 which was attended by 140 leaders and policy representatives from STEMM to consider gender equity issues and identify appropriate solutions for Australia.

Professor Brian Schmidt AC was a co-Chair for the 2014 SAGE Forum Steering Committee. A key proposal of the Forum was to undertake an Australian pilot of the Athena Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) Charter.

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 in the United Kingdom in response to serious under-representation of women in STEMM. The program is an evaluation and accreditation framework for higher education and research organisations that focuses on the improvement of gender equity policies and practices in STEMM. This framework is based on ten principles of the Athena SWAN Charter. Over the last 10 years it has shown significant results in improving gender diversity, and bolstering women's leadership roles within STEMM institutions in the UK.

The SAGE program seeks to assist Australian higher education and research organisations to achieve Athena SWAN accreditation. 

The pilot involves 40 Australian universities, medical research institutes and publicly funded research agencies. The pilot has been split into two stages and ANU is part of Stage 2 which means that ANU officially began our pilot program in September 2016 and we are due to submit our application in January 2019.

Our involvement in this pilot is integral to achieving the ANU strategic goals for gender equity in attaining a percentage of women in senior academic and professional roles equal or exceeding the Go8 average. This challenge is not unique to ANU as women comprise half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, but just 17 per cent of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes. To remain competitive for the best world talent, ANU needs to actively participate in world leading initiatives and programs to address gender inequality.

The focus is on STEMM disciplines, however, it is expected that the ANU SAGE pilot program will make improvements in Humanities and Social Sciences and professional staff. Support for transgender women and for Indigenous Australians will also be specifically undertaken as part of the SAGE pilot. The intersectionality with other diversity groups including race, culture, disability and sexual orientation will also be explored.