Update from the VC: International Women's Day

8 March 2016

Today I am pleased to announce that ANU is taking another important step towards ensuring the full participation of women in our university by becoming an inaugural member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Pilot project.

Hi Everyone

Today is International Women's Day. A day in which the world pauses to reflect on the achievements of women. It is also a day were we acknowledge the many areas of gender inequality that still exist and that we still need to address - institutionally, nationally and internationally.

I am deeply committed to helping women achieve the full promise of their academic careers at ANU.

But to achieve gender equity we need a cultural shift.  We need to stamp out the culture of exclusion and unconscious bias that leaves many women feeling discouraged and marginalised.

Today I am pleased to announce that ANU is taking another important step towards ensuring the full participation of women in our university by becoming an inaugural member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Pilot project.

The SAGE Initiative was established to address the underrepresentation of women in science and ensure as many women as men take up positions in science leadership.

It probably comes as no surprise to this audience that women comprise more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, but just 17% of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes.

The loss of women scientists is a significant waste of expertise, talent and investment, and negatively impacts our nation's scientific productivity.

Thirty-two universities, medical research institutes and publicly funded research agencies across Australia have now been selected to participate in the SAGE Pilot.

As a participant, ANU will be required to collect, analyse and present data on gender equity policies and practices, as well as identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.

We will undertake ongoing review, analysis and reporting and if successful will achieve the first Bronze level award.

Our pilot of the program will commence in September 2016.

The ANU SAGE project will undertake work across all Colleges and Divisions.

Support for transgender women and for Indigenous Australians will also be specifically undertaken as part of the SAGE Pilot. We'll also explore how other diversity groups including race, culture, disability and sexual orientation intersect with gender issues.

The SAGE Pilot is an exciting initiative and I look forward to achieving some great results across the University.

Brian

Comments

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Comment by Parastoo Sadeghi
9.45am 9 Mar 2016

Thank you very much for such an inspiring post and for sharing your vision. It is truly encouraging to see that gender equity is a top and genuine business priority for the ANU leadership. It is a complex problem that can only be solved by men and women acknowledging it.

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Comment by Francesca Maclean and Emily Campbell
9.15am 10 Mar 2016

We are looking forward to seeing the innovative practices ANU will develop, implement, and sustain to make us leaders in addressing gender equity, particularly in STEM. As leaders of CECS's gender equity initiative, Fifty50, we are excited to work with past, current, and future members of the ANU community to advance gender parity in STEM, as it is widely acknowledged that gender equity issues in STEM start early in life, and are perpetuated in all stages of education and career progression. As a university, we are in the middle of the cycle and can play a pivotal role in addressing the attraction and retention of women in STEM - working with both schools and industry, and our own academic community. It is an exciting time and we hope all members of the ANU community see this as a issue we can address together!

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Comment by David Stevens
2.15pm 15 Mar 2016

Brian, "I am deeply committed to helping women achieve the full promise of their academic careers at ANU." perhaps could have been better expressed as "I am deeply committed to women achieving the full promise of their academic careers at ANU." There is a subtle, but important difference. For a man to be "helping women" could be interpreted as being somewhat demeaning. Cheers, David.