SAGE Athena SWAN

Bronze Award

We are proud to be among the first 15 Australian research institutions to receive the Bronze Award under the Athena SWAN charter. The University has Bronze status and our four-year action plan is currently being implemented.

In partnership with Pro Vice-Chancellors, each College is contributing towards operationalising many of the actions and tailoring EDI strategies to support their unique discipline needs. A number of stakeholders across the University, including the Women in STEMM chair and Assistant Deans EDI, are contributing to the achievement of the Athena SWAN action plan.

We are committed to being among the first Australian universities to achieve Silver Athena SWAN accreditation.


Action plan

The detailed report and four-year action plan () PDF, 662.4 KB to address the issues identified was submitted in March 2018.

We have more than 80 actions in our plan, such as the establishment of key leadership roles, including the inaugural Women in STEMM chair and five new Assistant Deans Equity and Diversity roles.

Other initiatives include the setting of KPIs for STEMM faculties, where greatest under-representation of women exists; ongoing funding for Women in Research Fellowships; and the engagement of leaders and staff through promotion of the Gender Equality Leadership Pledge.

Alex Zelinsky AO - Vice-Chancellor, Professor

The significance of this award is profound as it recognises a commitment to being inclusive and equitable – characteristics that are at the core of this institution."

Alex Zelinsky AO
Vice-Chancellor, Professor

Athena SWAN principles

As an Athena SWAN member, we are committing to a progressive charter and ten key principles which we will adopt within our policies, practices, action plans and culture.

  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by transgender people.
  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
  10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.

As per the Athena SWAN accreditation program, in 2016 a self-assessment team, consisting of academic and professional staff and students, was established at the University of Newcastle and spent two years collecting and analysing data to identify gender and diversity issues within the organisation. In March 2018, the team submitted an application for Bronze accreditation.

More about the Athena SWAN Charter

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.