SAGE welcomes independent review of Athena SWAN in the United Kingdom

Friday, 20 March 2020

Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) welcomes The Future of Athena SWAN, a report by the Athena SWAN Charter Independent Review Steering Group published today.

The report is based on an independent review of the UK’s version of Athena SWAN, led by the Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London, Professor Julia Buckingham.

Athena SWAN is a comprehensive and practical scheme to improve the careers of academics through gender equity.

The SAGE initiative, established to pilot the UK’s Athena SWAN Charter in Australia, is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

The report found that Athena SWAN’s effectiveness stems both from the accountability it generates at an institutional level and from the tools it provides to departments to implement the necessary structural and cultural changes which can support equality endeavours.

SAGE Executive Director Dr Wafa El-Adhami said the effectiveness of Athena SWAN is reflected in the SAGE work underway here in Australia.

“While the report is focused on the UK’s scheme, we will take a good look at the review and its recommendations to examine what could work in Australia, in consultation with SAGE members,” Dr El-Adhami said.

“SAGE has already implemented some improvements identified in the report’s recommendations as part of the Australian pilot. These include support for applicants from recommendation 15 and changes to the assessment process from elements of recommendations 33 and 34).

“We have been working with the 45 SAGE member institutions on adapting the departmental awards for Australia’s context.

“We look forward to learning from and working closely with the report’s UK publisher, Advance HE, as it responds to the report’s recommendations, which it is expected to do in the coming weeks,” Dr El-Adhami said.

Read The Future of Athena SWAN report.

Media contact: Dan Wheelahan – 0488 766 010 – media@science.org.au