Funding boost to make a difference for women in science

Author: The Australian Academy of Science, 7 December 2015. Media contact: Bella Counihan

A game-changing program that aims to improve the gender balance in Australian science has been given a welcome funding boost by the Federal government.

The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program will receive new funding as part of a $13 million package targeting women in science in the government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda announced today.

SAGE, which is modelled on the successful UK Athena SWAN Charter, is currently at the pilot stage in more than half of Australian universities, along with a number of other research institutions, including CSIRO. The extra funding will help ensure that all Australian scientific research institutions are able to take part in the initiative.

The SAGE pilot was launched by the Australian Academy of Science in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering earlier this year.

Diversity underlies innovation - Professor Nalini Joshi
Diversity underlies innovation – Professor Nalini Joshi

The SAGE initiative is chaired by Academy of Science Fellow Professor Nalini Joshi and Academy of Technology and Engineering Vice-President Dr Susan Pond.

“Diversity underlies innovation. This government support will enable us to grow the diverse, talented research sector that Australia needs to create, shape and maintain the innovative society we want in the future,” Professor Joshi said.

“Full inclusion of women in our innovation system is essential if Australia is to reach its economic and social potential,” Dr Pond said.

Full inclusion of women in our innovation system is essential if Australia is to reach its economic and social potential. - Dr Susan Pond
Full inclusion of women in our innovation system is essential. – Dr Susan Pond

Professor Nalini Joshi and Dr Susan Pond are available for interview. Please contact Bella Counihan 0419212219.