SWAN has secured ongoing university funding to address the under-representation of women in senior academic and professional positions at Swinburne.

This initiative contributes to Swinburne’s Gender Equality Strategic Action Plan which encourages, recognises, and promotes achievement of gender equality across Swinburne.

Note: Swinburne staff can find additional information on the SWAN wiki (staff login required).

SWAN programs

Swinburne Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) supports women across the university through five distinct and interconnected programs.

SWAN Promotions Program

The SWAN Promotions Program helps women academics to create an application for promotion in a step-by-step way. The Promotion Program combines one-on-one mentorship and information and workshop sessions. Virtual meet-ups provide an opportunity to touch base, discuss issues, and answer questions related to promotions process at Swinburne University. The program also provides resources to mentors and mentees, information about promotion applications, workshop and inspiring stories recordings.

Email: SWAN_Promotions@swinburne.edu.au

​SWAN Career Development Program​

The Career Development Program aims to create an accessible range of events and activities to empower a diverse group of women academics including HDR, sessional and all academic levels. The events include  informal catch-ups, face-to-face and online workshops and podcast series to build diversity in different career development stories. Timing and length of events alternate to cater for different women academic schedules.

The Career Development Program explores a range of different topics aimed to support career development, based on past feedback and co-design with women academics. Topics include:​

  • planning your future​
  • striking your balance​
  • branding yourself​
  • finding your voice​
  • bold stories - podcasts​.

Email: SWAN_Development@swinburne.edu.au

SWAN Academic Carer Financial Assistance (AFCA) Program​

SWAN coordinates a financial assistance program to provide career support for research development to academics who experience a career interruption due to parental or carer responsibilities. The aim is to support gender parity among Swinburne academics by providing financial support to academics whilst on parental or carers leave, or after returning to work following a period of parental or carers leave. ​

Application assessments

Applications are assessed by a selection committee established by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) based on: ​

  • impact of this financial assistance in allowing the applicant to maintain or improve their research development
  • expected outcomes to the applicant and the university resulting from the grant
  • how the grant would support the needs of the parent or carer transitioning back into the workplace upon their return to work after a career interruption
  • impact of this financial assistance in supporting currently enrolled PhD students to address career disruption.​

Email: SWAN_admin@swinburne.edu.au​

Grant IT Program

Grant IT workshops target all female researchers intending to apply for Category 1 Grants or Fellowships. This initiative is a collaboration between Swinburne's SWAN, SAGE and Research teams.

The fortnightly series of five workshops is designed to provide female academics the opportunity to work collaboratively towards the development and submission of prestigious fellowships from the ARC and NHMRC. The workshops are social, supportive and in-depth, and use design thinking approaches to draft and submit a successful Category 1 Grant or Fellowship application.

The series is premised on the fact that female researchers are heavily underrepresented in the leadership of Category 1 grants across the sector. Yet, when they do submit, they have higher success rates across most schemes. We see this program as one strategy to help overcome the barriers women face in submitting their high quality research proposals, and to address this imbalance.​

​Workshop topics

  • Why this? Grappling with the hook.
  • Why me? Your track record and the blush test
  • Why now? The ‘perfect’ project?​
  • Bringing it all together
  • Wrap it up and get it in

SWAN principles

​This workshop series adopts SWAN principles:​

  • women only
  • safe space to expose vulnerabilities,
  • outcome orientated with a holistic lens
  • social and celebratory
  • building cross disciplinary enduring networks.​

WATTLE Program

The underrepresentation of women in senior levels of leadership in the university sector, both within academic and professional roles, continues to be an unresolved issue. WATTLE brings together women identified as potential leaders across the university sector to provide an intensive leadership and networking program.

The program is designed, and run, by female academic and professional staff in the university sector. The program is based on the highly successful New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership (NZUWIL) Programme. WATTLE is governed by a steering committee consisting of the four founding members and representatives from the participating universities, with an organising committee responsible for each individual program.

Email: SWAN_admin@swinburne.edu.au​

SWAN in action

  • Five professional looking women standing in front of a whiteboard
    L to R: Christine Thong, Melissa Wheler, Faith Kwa, Jean Brodie, Tatiana Kameneva.
  • A workshop where women are sitting in groups at tables talking.
    SWAN Workshop
  • Four women smiling at camera at an event.
    L to R: Christine Thong, Jennifer Beaudry, Flavia Marcello, Carolyn Beasley

Contact the SWAN team

For more information about SWAN, email us on swan_admin@swinburne.edu.au or visit the SWAN wiki (staff login required).

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