What SAGE does

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 or cultural barriers to gender equity and diversity.

Forty-five Australian higher education and research (HER) sector institutions have completed the SAGE pathway to accreditation by committing to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender diverse individuals in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine – STEMM disciplines.

SAGE is pleased to announce that we are now accepting new subscribers from Australian universities, medical research institutes and publicly funded research agencies. Applications for subscription will be open throughout this year, offering flexibility to new subscribers.

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.

Evaluation and reviews

SAGE is modelled on the UK’s – Athena SWAN Charter. A recently published independent review of Athena SWAN found that it’s effective because of two factors:  the accountability at an institutional level; and the tools it gives departments to implement real structural and cultural changes.

While the report is focused on the UK’s scheme, SAGE has already made changes identified in the report’s recommendations as part of the Australian pilot. These include support for applicants and enhancements to the assessment process.

SAGE success and the effectiveness of Athena SWAN in Australia was evidenced in the independent evaluation report on the introduction of Athena SWAN into Australia, Putting Gender on your Agenda’;, SAGE has implemented learnings and recommendations from this evaluation.

National rollout and the future of SAGE

SAGE will transition to become a fully independent entity (not-for-profit) company, founded by the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, by end of 2020 with its own governing Board of Directors and an independent Chair.

With the Federal Government’s further $1.8 million investment in the program, SAGE’s goal is to reach the entire higher education and research STEMM sector.

Government funding has also allowed SAGE to refine program subscription fees to increase accessibility and attract new subscribers to the program.

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.

More information about SAGE and subscription fees

Application form with SAGE Terms and Conditions

To discuss your interest in subscribing to SAGE, please send an email to sage@science.org.au.


SAGE was launched in 2015 as a response to the Australian Higher Education and Research sectors’ need for a coordinated, national approach to improving gender equity in STEMM.

A review of international activities and initiatives in gender equity, together with a national workshop resulted in the decision to pilot the Athena SWAN accreditation framework from the Equality Challenge Unit (a unit of Advance HE) in the UK. The decision to pilot Athena SWAN recognises the framework’s evidence-based approach to analysis, action and demonstrable impact. Monitoring of performance and impact is integral to the accreditation process and conferral of Awards.

Download the SAGE Forum Workshop summary report 


Commitment to Members

SAGE is committed to supporting members through the Athena SWAN accreditation process. Download the SAGE Service Charter here