The University of Newcastle, Australia

Another step toward gender equality at UON

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Over the 50 years of its history, UON has achieved an outstanding and enviable reputation for breaking down barriers to success for both our students and our staff community. Equity and social justice are at the heart of our institutional values and, combined with our commitment to excellence, we emerge as a place where access meets success.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillenUnder NeW Directions, we reaffirmed our commitment to an equitable workplace, to building the capacity of our female staff and to working towards equal gender representation across all levels of the organisation. By 2014 we were proud to be among only 76 organisations to be cited as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, acknowledging the support and opportunities we provide to women to enable them to thrive in their careers. On the basis of our recent compliance report, we have again been invited by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to apply for this important citation in 2015.

Today I am delighted to announce another outstanding opportunity for UON, one that acknowledges our track record as a leader in gender equity and our potential to make further positive advances in fields historically characterised by inequality.

UON has been selected as one of the pilot institutions to participate in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Initiative – an exciting first in Australia. Formed by the Australian Academy of Science as a pilot of The Athena SWAN Charter, the SAGE Initiative aims to reach gender parity in science leadership by supporting the hiring, promotion, participation and retention of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  

UON will be participate in the first tranche of the Pilot commencing September 2015.

One of the immediate benefits of our selection for the SAGE pilot is that we automatically receive membership of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australia.  This will open the door to a valuable suite of resources and international networks that will enhance our capacity to provide equal opportunities for women at UON.


About the SAGE Pilot

The SAGE Pilot will run over a two-year period, during which time we are required to collect, analyse and present data on gender equity policies and practices in STEM departments, as well as identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.

By joining the SAGE Pilot, we will enjoy many benefits, including:

  • access to a system that has a 10 year track record of success in improving gender equity policies and practices in the UK
  • access to a standardised methodological framework for collecting data and identifying gaps and opportunities in gender equity processes
  • participation in workshops to support successful accreditation under Athena SWAN
  • constructive feedback, encouragement and support from an experienced team of gender equity experts

About the Athena SWAN Charter

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 under the UK's Equity Challenge Unit to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine in higher education and research.

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