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

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Women in STEMM Q&A

Renowned ABC show Q&A put politics aside for a wonderful and well-received episode on science, with three women in STEMM taking centre stage: Professor Emma Johnston (marine ecologist and presenter of Coast Australia); Dr Tamara Davis (dark matter and energy cosmologist); and Upulie Divisekera (molecular biologist and co-founder of Real Science). They were joined by Dr Alan Finkel (Australia’s chief scientist and former President of ATSE) and Professor Brian Greene (world renowned physicist and string theorist).

One audience member asked the panel to comment on the dominance of men in science careers post-PhD and whether there is “something that females find abhorrent in the current scientific review process.” Divisekera notes that women make up around 50% of undergraduate students in STEMM, but the gender breakdown comes down to 17% at senior roles due to subtle biases experienced throughout scientific careers.

Professor Johnston similarly references that she is one among the 17% of women STEMM professors in Australia; a fact that has remained largely unchanged for over five decades, with some science areas being worse off in recent years.  Professor Johnston discusses SAGE as one solution, specifically referencing the partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in addressing structural and cultural problems in science institutions that affect gender equity and other forms of diversity.

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