SAGE is accepting new subscribers – apply now

With approximately 87% of Australian universities signed up to the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative, Australia’s higher education sector is truly a national leader when it comes to eliminating systemic and cultural barriers to gender equity and diversity.

Forty-five Australian higher education and research (HER) institutions have completed the SAGE pathway to accreditation by committing to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender diverse individuals.

SAGE is pleased to announce that we are now accepting new subscribers from Australian universities, medical research institutes and publicly funded research agencies.

Become a SAGE subscriber

By becoming a SAGE subscriber (and a member of the Athena Swan Charter), organisations will be making a public commitment to align its work practices with the internationally recognised standards for gender equity, diversity and inclusion (with a focus on women, trans and gender diverse people) required for Athena Swan accreditation.

For an application form or to discuss your interest in subscribing to SAGE, please email us at


Athena Swan Accreditation

SAGE subscribers are required to undertake a self-assessment process and apply for Athena Swan accreditation within two years of signing up to SAGE. This involves:

  • forming a self-assessment team (SAT)
  • conducting an in-depth self-assessment of the institution’s structures, systems and culture to identify gaps in and barriers to gender equity, diversity and inclusion.

In doing so, the institution will:

  • collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data on gender equity
  • assess policies and practices affecting their staff (and students, if applicable)
  • propose a robust and measurable action plan to address identified gaps and barriers to improve gender equity
  • 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 panel will determine qualification for an Award and make a recommendation to the Chief Executive Officer on the conferral of an Award. Accreditation awarded under the Athena Swan Charter will be valid for five years, after which time an institution may choose to apply to renew or apply for a higher level Award.

The Athena Swan Bronze Award

The Bronze Award recognises an institution’s commitment to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender diverse individuals in Higher Education and Research. Achieving a Bronze Award requires an institution to demonstrate a solid foundation for improving gender equity. This requires an institution to demonstrate that it:

  • understands its current state of gender equity
  • understands the institutional structures, systems, and culture which contribute to gender inequity
  • has a five-year action plan to address gender inequity.

To sufficiently demonstrate these requirements within the Bronze Award application, an institution will need to provide evidence against these five key themes (criteria):

  • leadership and commitment
  • honesty and self-reflection
  • communication and engagement
  • data analysis and discussion
  • SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) actions.

For more information on the SAGE Athena Swan Awards pathway, see the SAGE Athena Swan Accreditation Framework.

Why become a SAGE subscriber?

SAGE is the only gender equity and diversity program of its kind in Australia. It achieves meaningful systemic and cultural change within organisations by using a proven national accreditation framework.

Here are some of the benefits that SAGE pilot participants have reported:

  • increased career satisfaction and opportunities
  • improved working practices to support career progression
  • greater ownership of gender equity and diversity initiatives
  • increased visibility of women in science; and an increased proportion of women in STEMM departments nationally

Commitment to Subscribers

SAGE is committed to supporting its subscribers through the Athena Swan accreditation process. Learn more about our vision and values in the SAGE Ltd Strategic Plan 2021-2024 [PDF 230 kB].