Bronze Awards: A leap forward for gender equity and diversity

Award winning ABC TV journalist and presenter, Del Irani, hosted the inaugural SAGE Wards Gala Dinner at Parliament House. Photo: Bradley Cummings

Fifteen Australian institutions have been recognised for efforts to improve gender equity and diversity, receiving the inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze Awards.

Nicolle Flint, MP for Boothby, representing Prime Minister Scott Morrison, presented the awards at Parliament House in Canberra on 5 December.

The awardees, listed in alphabetical order, are:

  • Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)
  • Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Curtin University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Wollongong
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Ms Flint also recognised South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Southern Cross University, University of Canberra, University of Melbourne and University of Western Australia for their progress to date towards Bronze Award accreditation and their continued commitment to SAGE.

Evidence of positive impact

Cohort 1 members are the first group of the 45-strong institutions from the higher education and research (HER) sector to complete the Athena SWAN Bronze process. The remaining institutions are due to complete their accreditation in 2019.

With 50 per cent of Australia’s HER sector institutions participating in the SAGE Pilot, evidence of positive impact is already emerging. 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 – science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine – departments nationally.

SAGE’s pioneering work in this sector and the Pilot are seen as an important part of the Government’s Women in STEM Strategy and the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.

Executive Director, SAGE, Dr Wafa El-Adhami says that since SAGE began, the STEMM HER sector in Australia has stepped up significantly to address gender equity and diversity.

A positive difference

“The sector wants to make a difference and is now committed to and invested in Athena SWAN.

“Every institution on the SAGE journey that is implementing the Athena SWAN framework, has chosen to make a positive difference to its workplace and culture for its staff.

“The commitment to transparency, to take action and to be held accountable is the true sign of leadership and a pledge to improve gender equity and diversity,” said Dr El-Adhami.

Elizabeth Broderick AO FTSE, lawyer, Sex Discrimination Commissioner in Australia (2007-15), Special Adviser to SAGE and Chair of the Expert Advisory Group (March 2016 to August 2018), said that the enthusiasm with which the sector has embraced the SAGE Pilot has been exciting to see.

“It gives me enormous confidence that the sector is elevating the issue of gender equality and taking strong action. Congratulations to those receiving a Bronze Award tonight.

“To those who may not be receiving an Award but who are continuing to drive impact, thank you. It’s your participation in the process and the lessons learnt along the way that provide some of the most powerful parts of the SAGE journey,” Ms Broderick said.

Indigenous glass plaques for Bronze Awards

The SAGE Athena SWAN Bronze Awards glass plaques – that the institutions received at the Awards Gala Dinner – were designed and produced by Wathaurong Glass and Arts company. Based in Geelong, Victoria, the company was formed in 1998 to express Aboriginal art in glass.

All the company’s staff are Aboriginal and the company is a not-for-profit business owned by Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd. The business is structured so that the commnity of Wathaurong and the broader community will be the beneficiaries of any profit. Where possible, Wathaurong Glass purchases from the local community, as it is better for Geelong and the environment producing less transport emissions.

The name “Wathaurong” is a recognised tribe, it consisted of 25 groups (clans) around the Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula areas.

See photos from the SAGE Bronze Awards Gala Dinner night

SAGE Peer Reviewers and Moderators – Cohort 1 Applications

SAGE, its Management Board and the two partner Academies (Australian Academy of Science and Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering) would like to acknowledge the work of the Peer Review Panels and Moderators who executed this critical task impartially and with great ability and finesse.

  • Alison Rodger
  • Amanda McIlroy
  • Anthony Koutoulis
  • Ben Wilson
  • Bruce Godfrey
  • Cai Wilkinson
  • Catherine Lang
  • Cheryl Praeger
  • Cobie Rudd
  • David Rae
  • Deb Strickland
  • Edwin Hawkins
  • Elizabeth Sullivan
  • Gavin Melles
  • Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop
  • Iain Gordon
  • Janine Murray-Zaia
  • John Bartlett
  • Kate Moore
  • Katrina Sealey
  • Ken Richardson
  • Linley Lord
  • Lisa Jackson Pulver
  • Lisa O’Neill
  • Lyndon Edwards
  • Marilys Guillemin
  • Mark David McMillan
  • Mark Toner
  • Mary Kelly
  • Natasha Cortis
  • Nick Scott
  • Oliver Mayo
  • Peter Thrall
  • Petrina Mosely
  • Reena Ghildyal
  • Renuka Mahadevan
  • Richard Baker
  • Robyn Overall
  • Rosalind Dubs
  • Sanjeewa Perera
  • Scott Foster
  • Sharon Farquhar
  • Sophia Nimphius
  • Terry Schroeder
  • Vesna Todorovski