SAGE Symposium: Showcasing Gender Equity and Innovation

Elizabeth Broderick: "Most progress comes in countless, small, intentional steps rather than one giant leap and that is definitely true for shaping a more gender equal future. It is a path characterised by persistence.”

The first annual SAGE Symposium is fast approaching on 24 June at the Maritime Museum in Sydney. Science and technology experts, business and policy leaders will examine ways to enhance gender equity and create a more diverse and innovative STEMM sector in Australia.

The Symposium will feature prominent leaders in STEMM, gender equity and diversity. Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Males Champions of Change Founder Elizabeth Broderick will deliver the keynote address. Our plenary talks also include Ita Buttrose, Pioneer in Australian women’s journalism and 2013 Australian of the Year, and David Ruebain, Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit, United Kingdom.

Other esteemed speakers include Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O’Kane, and President of the Australian Academy of Science Professor Andrew Holmes.

Tickets are almost sold out for our Symposium, but limited tickets are still available for our Cocktail Party. This special event provides an exclusive opportunity for guests to socialise with keynote speakers along with Fellows of both Academies, who represent Australia’s greatest scientific minds and innovators. This networking event celebrates women in STEMM and national collaboration to enhance gender equity and diversity.

Register to attend the Cocktail Party below.

Eventbrite - Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Symposium 2016

Why a SAGE Symposium?

Leaders in government, business and science and technology agree that science is crucial to Australia’s future, and that gender equity and diversity are critical in boosting scientific innovation. Improving gender equity requires great leadership and practical strategies based in evidence.

The SAGE Symposium will showcase solutions for creating cultural change and closing the gender gap in STEMM.

Themes of the SAGE Symposium include:

  • How the SAGE Pilot of Athena SWAN will transform science and innovation in Australia
  • Creating sector-wide cultural change in STEMM
  • Involving men in gender equity work
  • Intersections of gender equity and diversity in science careers
  • Strategies for leaders to inspire inclusion in science and technology.

Ita Buttrose: "I don't understand how any company can profess to be well-run without the input of women. It's unacceptable and I think we need to raise our voices."

The SAGE journey so far

Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) began with a two-day SAGE Forum in November 2014. This Forum brought together 140 leaders and policy representatives from the Australian STEMM sector to address long-standing issues of gender inequity. The Forum was hosted by the Australian Academy of Science, with support from the Office of the Chief Scientist. Participants agreed on the urgent need for cultural change across STEMM institutions. There was widespread support for the Academy of Science and the Academy of Technology and Engineering to commence the SAGE Pilot.

The SAGE Pilot was established to create a catalyst for change in the sector. It aims to improve gender equity and better enable a diverse community of scientists to thrive. Its first goal was to adapt the Athena SWAN Charter for Australia, a gender equity evaluation and accreditation program that has been running for over a decade in the UK with tremendous success.

The Pilot was launched at Parliament House in September 2015, attended by Ministers, Members of Parliament, Senators, and senior leaders from STEMM institutions. Ministers and MPs spoke about the importance of gender equity to innovation and Australia’s economic future.

The first call for institutions to participate in the SAGE Pilot saw a groundswell of interest. Thirty two institutions joined the Pilot in 2015 as members of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australia. Since September 2015, Pilot participants have:

  • attended workshops to prepare for analysis of gender equity and diversity issues;
  • participated in quarterly regional networks, which function as state-based communities of practice to support gender equity work; and
  • begun work on collecting and analysing gender equity data in their institutions.

The second call for institutions to participate in the SAGE Pilot was publicised in May 2016. A further eight institutions will the joining the Athena SWAN Charter, making a total of 40 universities, research institutes and publicly funded research agencies participating in the SAGE Pilot. These institutions will be announced at the SAGE Symposium.

The upcoming SAGE Symposium is the highlight of the SAGE calendar, marking one year since our Charter Members first put themselves forward to join the Pilot. The SAGE Symposium will celebrate the achievements of the Pilot to date in bringing greater awareness of gender equity issues to the Australian STEMM sector. It will highlight the importance of leadership and the value of diversity for science and innovation. It will also showcase best practices for reducing the gender gap and strategies for working together to foster greater diversity in STEMM.

David Ruebain: "It isn’t only female academics that benefit from involvement in our [Athena SWAN] charter. Men also benefited from initiatives such as flexible working. Administrative and technical staff felt they had more support for their career development and progression."
Resister to Attend

Tickets for the SAGE Symposium have almost sold out, but limited tickets are still available for the Cocktail Party.

Eventbrite - Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Symposium 2016

Get involved

Follow our social media for regular updates and highlights of the Symposium:

Throughout the day we will showcase multimedia highlights of the event on all our social media. Keep your eyes on our website and our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages, and join the conversation:

Keynote Speakers

Elizabeth Broderick is Australia’s longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner. She founded the ‘Male Champions of Change’ strategy. She has acted as Advisor to the UN and the World Bank and to major national institutions on gender equity and cultural change.

Ita Buttrose has had a remarkable career as an editor, businesswoman, best-selling author and community advocate. She has twice been voted Australia’s most admired woman. She was 2013 Australian of the Year and is a Co-host of Studio 10.

David Ruebain is the Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit (ECU). He is an award-winning human rights lawyer and disability advocate. As Chief Executive of ECU he manages the Athena SWAN Charter in the UK along with a wide range of equity and diversity strategies for the UK higher education and research sectors.

See the registration details, full program and list of speakers.


Principal Sponsor

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Innovate Sponsor


Discover Sponsors

Ernst Young

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Venue Sponsor

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