SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter

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SAGE Pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter



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 embeds gender balance; cultural diversity; primary caring responsibilities; broad representation from across USC; and a mix of academic/professional staff and students.

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.

 To achieve this, the SAT is:

  • Driving the implementation of the Athena SWAN initiative at USC;
  • Coordinating data gathering (quantitative and qualitative) across the University;
  • Analysing data and other quantitative and qualitative information, to identify key findings, gaps and areas for action planning and further analysis;
  • Identifying and recommending suitable priorities, actions and objectives to be included in the SAGE Action Plan;
  • Establishing robust measures to monitor progress against the Action Plan.

The pilot extends for two years, and in mid 2019, USC will submit an application portfolio for the award of an Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award, demonstrating a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. A key aspect of the portfolio is a four-year evidence-based action plan which builds on our assessment of gaps and opportunities to enhance gender equity across the Institution.

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

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