What is SAGE?

The SAGE Pilot is now in transition to Science in Australia Gender Equity Limited (SAGE Ltd), a not-for-profit public company limited by guarantee. Its two founding company members are the Learned Academies: the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

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.

SAGE is supported by the Australian Government (via a grant from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources), SAGE subscribers and sponsors.

Background on Australia’s SAGE Pilot Program

After operating a three-year Pilot program, SAGE has facilitated three cohorts, a total of 45 institutions, to commit to their Athena SWAN Charter Awards pathway.

The SAGE Pilot was jointly owned and underwritten by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and has been supported by the Australian Government, SAGE subscribers and sponsors.

Part of the SAGE Pilot has been to evaluate its effectiveness and value and to develop a model for a sustainable business, SAGE Ltd, moving forward. This work has been undertaken across several activities, and in light of emerging government policies and other actions including:

  • An independent review: Putting Gender on the STEM Agenda – The introduction of Athena SWAN into Australia. (ACER 2018);
  • Surveys, workshop and regional network feedback from participating organisations and institutes;
  • Business case scenarios and risk analysis by the SAGE Pilot Audit and Risk Committee advising the executive of each of the partner Academies;
  • The Women in STEM Decadal Plan April 2019 which found that “SAGE is the only transformative gender equity program of its kind in Australia”;
  • The Australian Government’s Advancing Women in STEM . The 2020 Action Plan component Accelerating Change Through Government Practices has seen the Government commit to funding the SAGE program until 2021–22 and to working with SAGE and the sector to ensure all eligible organisations can participate and succeed in the program.