Four new institutions join Science in Australia Gender Equity initiative

September 05, 2017

Momentum to improve gender equity and diversity in Australia’s higher education and research sector continues to build with four new institutions joining The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Initiative pilot of the UK-based Athena SWAN accreditation program.

The new participants are the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Murdoch University, Geoscience Australia and the University of Adelaide. The announcement will be made by Professor Hugh Bradlow, President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) at the 2017 SAGE symposium today.

The new additions brings the total number of participants to 44, with 32 universities (representing 88% of Australian universities), six medical research institutes and six publicly funded research agencies joining the SAGE Pilot Program.

Executive Director of SAGE, Dr Wafa El-Adhami, said the addition of four new members reflects a strong commitment to reversing gender inequality and supporting diversity through effective systematic solutions like Athena SWAN.

“It is also a testament to the sector's confidence in SAGE and our service,” Dr El-Adhami said.

Geoscience Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr James Johnson, said their organisation was inspired by the UK experience in implementing the Athena SWAN Charter, which has shown accredited organisations have a significant competitive advantage when it comes to attracting first-rate scientists.

“Our involvement in this program is a fantastic next step in our efforts to make our workplace more inclusive for everyone and to further Geoscience Australia as an organisation of scientific excellence and an employer of choice,” Dr Johnson said.

Murdoch University Deputy Vice Chancellor Education, Professor Romy Lawson, said their university is proud to be advancing the careers of women in higher education and research through participation in the pilot.

“This is an important step for our university in supporting a diverse and highly talented workforce,” Professor Romy Lawson said.

The SAGE initiative is a partnership of the Australian Academy of Science and ATSE. Institutions participating in the SAGE Pilot undergo an intensive two-year program of data analyses and review of policies and practices with the aim to develop actions that address the issues and barriers identified within the institution. The SAGE Symposium will feature keynote addresses from diversity champions UNSW Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Swinburne University of Technology's Professor Alan Duffy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar AO. It is on in Brisbane from 5-6 September. More information about the symposium can be found here.

Media contact: Melanie Bagg | PH: 0439 037 773 | E:

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