ANU strengthens support for gender equity

16 September 2015

ANU is one of 31 institutions signed up to the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot, which has been launched by the Australian Academy of Science.

SAGE is an Australian pilot of a successful UK gender equity program called the Athena SWAN Charter and is an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

It addresses gender equity in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine sector.

"The University wants to ensure it gives the best opportunities to all its staff. This kind of leadership in gender equity will allow us to harness untapped potential of our staff," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO.

"We are committed to leading real change in this area, and this program is an excellent vehicle for promoting gender equity in sciences."

Women comprise more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, but only 17 per cent of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes.

The Athena SWAN Charter has run for ten years in UK, and has had great success in addressing gender inequity in the higher education sector.

Institutions taking part in the SAGE pilot agree to uphold ten principles of gender equity, including commitment to addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline; tackling the gender pay gap; addressing the negative consequences of short-term contracts, and stamping out discrimination against transgender staff.

As part of the SAGE pilot, institutions collect evidence of their policies, programs and outcomes over the course of several years, and receive accreditation for successes at bronze, silver and gold levels.

Australia is the first nation to pilot this program beyond the UK and Ireland.