Australian HER institutions stick with gender equity and diversity journey despite COVID-19 impact

Friday, 18 December 2020

the logos of the awarded institutions
The four institutions receiving the AthenaSWAN Bronze Award.

Four Australian higher education and research (HER) sector institutions have today been recognised for their efforts to critically assess and tackle gender inequities and the lack of gender diversity in their own institutions.

They receive the internationally recognised Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award administered in Australia by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Limited.

The award recognises an institution’s commitment to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender diverse individuals in HER, particularly in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine – STEMM disciplines.

Each institution that receives a Bronze Award is required to submit an action plan which highlights how they plan to address systemic, structural and/or cultural barriers within their own institution.

The latest HER sector awardees to receive a Bronze award include two universities, one publicly funded science research agency and one medical research institute. They are (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. Australian Institute of Marine Science
  2. Burnet Institute
  3. James Cook University
  4. University of Southern Queensland

Forty-three Australian HER institutions have now been awarded the Athena Swan Institutional Bronze Award.

SAGE Ltd Chair Ms Libby Lyons congratulated the four institutions on their award.

“It is a credit to the leadership of these organisations that they have remained committed to eliminating gender inequity in their organisation despite the impacts from COVID-19 felt right across the higher education and research sector,” said Ms Lyons.

“This Bronze Award recognises their work to set solid foundations for their journey to transformative change and sets them on the course to Silver and Gold awards,” said Ms Lyons, who is also the Director of the federal government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Evidence of the positive impact of the SAGE initiative continues to grow. This includes increased career satisfaction and opportunities; improved working practices to support career progression; increased visibility of women in science; and an increased proportion of women in STEMM departments nationally.

SAGE is now accepting new subscribers from Australian universities, medical research institutes and publicly funded research agencies.

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Background information

How many Australian HER sector institutions have received an Athena Swan Bronze award?

  • 31 out of 38 universities, plus a higher education research institution (representing approximately 87% of Australian universities)
  • Six out of 50 of Australia’s medical research institutes (representing approximately 12% of Australian MRIs)
  • Five out of 12 publicly funded science research agencies (representing 40% of these agencies)

Read more about the work of SAGE Ltd here.