Swinburne to take part in gender equity pilot program

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Swinburne Dean of Science, Professor Sarah Maddison and Professor Sarah Russell from Swinburne's Centre for Micro-Photonics at the launch of SAGE.

Swinburne University of Technology is one of the first Australian universities to join a pilot program to improve the promotion and retention of women and gender minorities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot will be the first trial in Australia of the successful UK Athena SWAN gender equity accreditation program.

Swinburne joins 31 other organisations participating in the Australian pilot that includes universities, medical research institutes and the CSIRO.

The initiative will address the fall off-in representation of women in STEMM areas at senior levels.

The program rates the gender equity policies and practices of participating organisations with a gold, silver or bronze award and helps them to develop ways to promote and retain women and gender minorities in their organisations.

“Science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine will shape the future of our world and Swinburne is committed to continuing as an advocate and supporter of gender equity in these disciplines.” Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson said.

“We need to drive the focus on gender equity and diversity in the community and set an example.”

Swinburne Dean of Science, Professor Sarah Maddison, said that she was honoured to be representing Swinburne at the launch of the pilot program today.

"I'm very excited to be part of this extremely important national initiative and delighted to be helping Swinburne move towards gender equity in STEM," Professor Maddison said.

About Swinburne’s commitment to STEMM

Swinburne has been ranked as one of the world's top 400 universities by the prestigious 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Swinburne also achieved a top 100 ranking in the ARWU in the field of physics. This makes Swinburne the only Australian university outside the Group of Eight to achieve a top 100 rating in a science discipline.

Swinburne has long been a champion of gender equality and for the past six consecutive years has been an Employer of Choice for Women.

About the Athena SWAN charter

The Athena SWAN charter began a decade ago with just 10 universities but has grown today to include as a member nearly every STEMM education and research institution in the UK.

The SAGE project is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).