The University of Wollongong has been acknowledged for its commitment to advance the careers of women, trans and gender-diverse individuals in STEMM disciplines.
UOW was awarded the prestigious Athena SWAN Bronze Institution Award from Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), during a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday night.
SAGE is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.
It aims to improve gender equity and diversity in STEMM in the Australian higher education and research sector.
In September 2015 UOW became one of the first universities in Australia to participate in the SAGE pilot program
As part of the two-year Australian initiative, the university agreed to uphold the 10 principles of gender equity, including commitment to preventing the loss of women across the career pipeline, tackling the gender pay gap, addressing the negative consequences of short-term contracts and stamping out discrimination against transgender staff.
UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings said the university was committed to gender equality and was thrilled to be involved in the SAGE initiative.
“UOW is delighted to have received an Athena SWAN Bronze Institution Award and to be recognised as a leader in this space,” Professor Wellings said.
“Gender equality is critical to an organisation’s success and crucial for society as a whole, and we are working to ensure that the message is conveyed to staff and students, particularly in the traditionally male-focused STEMM disciplines.
“Receiving this award highlights the number of positive changes being implemented across UOW and the progress being made, but we need to ensure that we maintain tempo in workforce diversity policy and practice.”
Some of its initiatives to further enhance gender equality include mentoring workshops, flexible work arrangements (such as part time and job sharing), generous paid parental leave and on-campus childcare facilities.
The university is also recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency as Employer of Choice for Gender Equality.
SAGE executive director Dr Wafa El-Adhami congratulated UOW and the other Bronze Award recipients, adding all institutions had a role to play in effecting social change.
“For transformational change and large cultural shifts, we all need to work together and that is exactly what has happened on the SAGE journey. Congratulations to everyone who has been part of this pioneering and bold initiative,” she said.