The Athena SWAN Bronze Award has been presented to 15 Australian institutions, recognising their initiatives to improve gender equity and diversity. The institutions awarded are the first group of a further 45 aiming to complete the Athena SWAN Bronze process by 2019, accounting for 50 per cent of Australia’s higher education and research sector institutions. The pilot is seen as an important part of the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Strategy and the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.
Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine employment in higher education and research, and has now been expanded to recognise work in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. A review of international activities and initiatives in gender equity, together with a national workshop resulted in the decision to pilot Athena SWAN, recognising the framework’s evidence-based approach to analysis, action and demonstrable impact.
Alison Johns, CEO of Advance HE said, “Warmest congratulations to all 15 awardees. Athena SWAN is hugely important in recognising the advancement of gender equality and representation. A bronze award signifies that these institutions have clear evidence through plans, policy and structures of solid foundations for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. This is a big step in creating conditions that promote representation, progression and success for all.
“We are very pleased to be working with SAGE: theirs is the first adaptation of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter outside of the UK and Ireland. By showcasing its experience SAGE, in partnership with Advance HE, has supported the development of, and investment in similar frameworks, and is supporting the potential application and adaptation in countries such as Japan, Canada and USA.”
Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, was set up to pilot Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Charter and accreditation framework in Australia. The partnership was launched in 2015 as a response to the Australian Higher Education and Research sectors’ need for a coordinated, national approach to improving gender equity in STEMM. SAGE hosted a gala dinner at Australian Parliament House in Canberra where members of the first SAGE cohort to achieve accreditation were presented with their Athena SWAN Bronze Awards by the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, representing Prime Minister Morrison.
Anna-Maria Arabia, Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science said, " The SAGE gala was a very impressive day and evening."
Find out more about Advance HE's Athena SWAN Charter.