SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter

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SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter

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Background

USC is one of 45 institutions across Australia participating in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter (UK) in Australia. The Athena SWAN Charter is an evaluation and accreditation program that works toward enhancing gender equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM), and is governed by ten principles that encourage Institutions to ensure that women from diverse backgrounds, as well as under-represented groups, are best positioned to reach their full potential:

  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 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.

How is this being achieved at USC?

USC has formed a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) to oversee the implementation of the Athena SWAN initiative. Chaired by Professor Tim Wess, the USC SAT reflects and embraces multiple disciplines and different career stages; varying seniority, gender, LGBTIQ+ identity and ethnicity; and broad experience of careers and work-life balance, recognising dual-career families, single parents, parental responsibilities and other caring responsibilities.

The USC SAGE Self Assessment Team

The overarching vision of the USC SAT is to achieve the enduring and transformational cultural change essential to enhancing gender diversity at USC and increase the number of women in leadership roles.

The USC SAT oversaw the Athena SWAN Bronze Award application process; interrogating our data, policies and practices, building the narrative of our application and is responsible for driving the implementation and monitoring of a four year action plan to enhance gender equity across the University.

USC submitted its application for an Athena SWAN Bronze Award with the third cohort of participants in July 2019, demonstrating a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. The University will be notified of the outcome of our application in the coming months.

For further information, contact Elvessa Marshall, Project Coordinator (SAGE Pilot) emarsha1@usc.edu.au or telephone +61 7 5459 4716.

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