As we move into our second year of the Pilot with a newly appointed Expert Advisory Group and senior leadership team, our priorities and commitment to the 40 charter member institutes will be centred on the following four dimensions of support:
A. Enabling members to fulfil their commitment to the ten Charter principles by facilitating access to the UK Equality Challenge Unit’s resources and by developing guidelines, processes and best practices in consultation with the member institutions.
B. Encourage charter members to build institutional capabilities. SAGE is developing engagement activities including national site visits and workshops led by leaders from the Australian sector with experience in Athena Swan; opportunities to workshop data analysis, issues identification and action planning; potential international visits from UK academics and researchers to share experience in Athena Swan; exploring networking opportunities with UK institutes experienced with Athena Swan; and other activities to be identified in consultation with the pilot charter members.
C. Shaping the future accreditation framework and model. We will do this by setting transparent and consultative processes and practices. In addition to working closely with the SAGE Expert Advisory Group, we will seek input and feedback from our charter members. Establishment of the Panel of Assessors and resources is one such priority to be progressed over the coming months.
D. Evaluate our approach, practice and implementation of the pilot. We will commission an independent evaluation so as to ensure that we continue to deliver effective and efficient service to all SAGE members, funders, partners and stakeholders over the course of SAGE implementation and into the long term to support members on their journey to transformative change.
What are our next steps?
We will continue SAGE institutional visits to charter members throughout October, whilst also participating in the SAGE regional networks.
New recruits will join the SAGE team by early November 2016, ensuring enhanced capacity to support members and stakeholders.
We are putting together a sub-group of the Expert Advisory Group to advise on data to guide benchmarking, which has Prof. Sharon Bell and Dr. Roslyn Princely as members. We welcome emailed nominations from all SAGE charter members to contribute to the work on data to guide benchmarking.
Planning and preparation for the Panel of Assessors has commenced; draft guidance and process documents will be shared for consultation.
The SAGE evaluation framework is currently being scoped with the view to release a request for tender to undertake an independent evaluation of the Pilot. The draft scope will also be shared with members for consultation prior to going to market.
Eight new institutions were welcomed into the SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN at the SAGE Symposium in Sydney, on 24 June 2016. They joined the 32 existing Athena SWAN Charter Members in Australia.
The eight new institutions are:
Australian Astronomical Observatory
Defence Science and Technology Group
Federation University Australia
James Cook University
University of the Sunshine Coast
This brings the total number of organisation participating in the SAGE Pilot to 40 institutions which includes 30 universities; six medical research institutes and four publicly funded research agencies.
In joining the Pilot, each institution has declared their commitment to the 10 Principles of the Athena SWAN Charter. The Vice Chancellor or Director of each institution has undertaken a commitment to support and resource their respective institutes to lead an evidence-based evaluation of policy, practices and cultural change to drive gender equity and diversity.
Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) will interview Dr Brian Lloyd, Jackie Costello and Dr Joanne Flanagan, who were part of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team. Read more
Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) is running a Pilot of Athena SWAN in Australia. Athena SWAN is an evaluation and accreditation program that has shown tremendous success enhancing gender equity and diversity in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, especially focusing on science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
SAGE will interview Professor Hazel Hall, Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team Leader for Edinburgh Napier University about her institution’s experiences in the Athena SWAN program. Read more
Professor Tanya Monro, Professor Emma Johnston and Professor Nalini Joshi spoke at the “Future Of Science – Women” event at the National Press Club on Wednesday 30 March. The event was co-hosted by the Australian Academy of Science. The panellists argued that the culture and institutional practices within the STEMM sector must be transformed if Australia is to meet the challenges of the innovation agenda.
The first of our bi-annual Athena SWAN training workshops for SAGE Pilot participants will be delivered in February 2016. Athena SWAN is a gender equity and diversity evaluation and accreditation process developed in the UK in 2005. The SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN in Australia represents the first country to adopt this process outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
The SAGE Pilot includes 32 STEMM institutions who are the inaugural Athena SWAN Charter members in Australia. The Vice Chancellors and Directors of these 32 institutions have signed to uphold the 10 Athena SWAN principles that form the basis of the Athena SWAN Charter. The aim of the Charter is to address the structural barriers that stop different groups of women as well as other underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential in academia.
Charter members represent over half of the higher education sector in Australia, along with a further five medical research institutes and two publicly funded research agencies. These institutions will work towards a Bronze Athena SWAN Institutional Application, demonstrating evidence that their institutions have the capacity to eliminate gender bias and to create an inclusive culture for all.
The February workshop focuses on data collection and analysisrequirements for their award application, as well as highlighting examples of best practice from the UK. Around 90% of the higher education sector belongs to the UK Athena SWAN Charter.
A member of the UK Athena SWAN Team, James Lush, will be assisting SAGE Project Manager, Dr Zuleyka Zevallos, to deliver the workshop across six cities around Australia.
The workshop activities will assist members to reflect on how they might collect and analyse gender equity data for their Athena SWAN applications, as well as how to better address information gaps when evaluating gender equity issues within their institutions. Institutions can nominate up to 10 representatives to attend our workshops.