To apply for an Athena SWAN Award in Australia, an institute must first apply to become a member of SAGE. Members agree to terms and conditions under a “participation agreement”, and pay subscription fees on an annual basis.
In becoming a SAGE member, institutions are committing to working towards and applying for an Athena SWAN Award. To do so, institutions are required to undertake a self-assessment process and apply for Bronze Award accreditation within two years of signing up to SAGE. This involves:
- forming a self-assessment team (SAT) led by a senior STEMM staff member
- conducting an in-depth self-assessment of the institution’s structures, systems and culture to identify gaps in and barriers to gender equity in STEMM
In doing so, the institution will:
- collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data on gender equity in STEMM areas
- assess policies and practices affecting STEMM staff
- propose a robust and measurable action plan to address identified gaps and barriers to improve gender equity in STEMM
- commit time and resources for the SAT to undertake institutional analysis and implement proposed actions, and
- complete a written application form for the award.
Applications for SAGE Athena SWAN accreditation will be assessed by peer review undertaken by independent experts. The peer review will determine qualification for an Award and make recommendation to the Executive Director on the conferral of an award. Accreditation awarded under the Athena SWAN Charter will be valid for four years, after which time an institution may choose to apply to renew or apply for a higher-level Award
The Bronze Institution Award
An Athena SWAN Bronze Institution Award recognises an institution’s commitment to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender diverse individuals in STEMM disciplines in Higher Education and Research. Achieving a Bronze Institution Award requires an institution to demonstrate a solid foundation for improving gender equity in STEMM. This requires an institution to demonstrate that it:
- Understands the current state of gender equity in its STEMM disciplines
- Understands the institutional structures, systems, and culture which contribute to gender inequity in its STEMM disciplines
- Has a four-year action plan to address gender inequity in its STEMM disciplines.
To sufficiently demonstrate these requirements within the Bronze Institution Award application, an institution will need to provide evidence against the five key themes (criteria) of:
- Leadership and commitment
- Honesty and self-reflection
- Communication and engagement
- Data analysis and discussion
- SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) actions.