What SAGE does

SAGE is currently piloting the Athena SWAN accreditation framework owned and operated by the Equality Challenge Unit (UK), a unit of the recently established Advance HE. At present the pilot is focused solely on implementing the Bronze Institutional Award for STEMM disciplines in the higher education and research sector.

The SAGE initiative centres on three integral elements, as follows:

a) Piloting and assessing the Athena SWAN accreditation framework in Australia (focus on Bronze Institutional Award) and supporting higher education and public research institutions to engage successfully with the program.

b) Raising awareness of gender equity and diversity issues in STEMM within the research sector and more broadly within the community.

c) Collaborating with like-minded institutions to promote and support initiatives aimed at encouraging women, trans and gender diverse people to participate in STEMM to address systemic barriers to equity.

Accreditation – SAGE administers the accreditation process under which all applications are assessed for an Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award (STEMM). The accreditation process is designed to ensure that all outcomes are fair, transparent and equitable.

Support – SAGE supports its members by providing resources and activities, facilitating workshops, hosting an annual forum, connecting members to regional networks, and leveraging best practice across the sector.

Engagement – SAGE engages with its members, government, other nationally funded programs and initiative supporting Women in STEMM, research funding bodies and collaborates with international bodies on similar models of gender equity accreditation and self-assessment; speaks to issues of gender equity in STEMM; and provides advice, support and resources to Australia’s higher education and research sector.



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