Science in Australia Gender Equity pilot

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Science in Australia Gender Equity pilot


The University of the Sunshine Coast has joined the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter (UK) in Australia SAGE Pilot. The Pilot has 40 participants and is a national program addressing gender equality for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). The program will enable the University to build on our ongoing work to promote gender equity and create an inclusive academic culture.

The SAGE program achieves its goals through an evaluation and accreditation framework conducted by a USC STEMM based Self-Assessment Team. Team members will collect, analyse and present data on gender policies and practices in STEMM areas at USC and identify gaps or areas for improvement. Self-Assessment Team members will be selected by the end of 2016.

The University has established a SAGE working party, which is being chaired by Professor John Bartlett, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering and includes Professor Margaret Barnes, Head, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine and Professor Joanne Scott, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Business and Law and Kathy Wirgau, Senior Human Resources Consultant.

In mid-October representatives from the Athena SWAN Charter will be on campus and staff and students will be invited to a presentation on the SAGE Pilot. The Pilot will last for two years and in 2019 the University will apply for an Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award, through its demonstration of a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

As a SAGE Pilot participant, the University has signed up to the Athena SWAN principles.

The ten principles of the Athena SWAN Charter

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by transgender people.
  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
  10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

For further information, contact the Office of the Executive Dean, FoSHEE on telephone +61 7 5430 2888 or email

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