Gender principles - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Gender principles

USC principles for achieving gender equity at events

USC is committed to the principles of equity, fairness and inclusivity, and actively promotes an environment in which the diversity of its staff, students and wider community members is valued.

These principles were developed as part of USC’s commitment to the 2019 International Women’s Day theme of ‘Balance for Better’ and broadens USC’s commitment to embrace gender diversity.


  • Speaker panel selections are gender balanced.
  • Organising committees of USC events, including forums, workshops and conferences, are gender balanced.
  • Formal roles such as session chairs at USC conferences, MC’s at events and panel chairs, are gender balanced.
  • Invitations to speakers will be made early to facilitate their participation (in recognition that caring responsibilities tend to fall more heavily on women), with the option for an extended invitation to family members.
  • Promotion of USC events will reflect the diversity of the speakers.
  • Priority will be given to individual and department applicants for USC funding to support conferences/forums, seminars and events, which demonstrate achievement of, or active progression towards appropriate gender diverse representation.
  • As part of USC’s commitment to redressing long term and/or systematic disadvantage, USC will continue to initiate and endorse events that are focused on equity groups.

Download the Designing Inclusive Events guide that will assist event organisers to support gender balance and inclusive events for all.

Consequences of imbalance

The absence of diversity at panels can narrow the perspective, and affect the quality of conversations and creative outcomes. Having diverse panel members creates a broader range of role models for individuals to aspire to join the conversation.

Download the Gender Balance at Every Forum: The Panel Pledge (PDF)

Responding to requests to participate as a panellist or guest speaker at external events

As part of USC’s commitment to redressing long term and / or systematic disadvantage, USC will continue to initiate and endorse events that are focused on equity groups.

As a USC staff member or student who has been invited to participate in an external panel or conference, you can take the following actions to show your commitment:

  • Request confirmation of who the other panellists / speakers / participants are, and how diversity and gender balance has been considered. For example, are women being expected to participate in a meaningful way?
  • Reserve the right to withdraw from the event, should the organised event be unable to demonstrate that diversity and gender balance has been attempted.
  • Offer names of individuals from a range of diverse backgrounds, if helpful, and point them to resources for support in finding guest speakers. For example, Women for Media

Download suggested words to help you with upholding the Diversity Pledge (response template) (PDF 176KB).