Gender equity

Gender equity

Our bold vision is to lead the way to create greater equality between women and men at work.

We want to see gender equity consistently reflected in the fabric of the University – in our structures, our policy, our behaviours and our culture. With this in mind, we have developed a draft strategy that sets out our commitments and an initial two-year plan of action in six priority areas.

Gender Equity Strategy

Our Workplace Gender Equity Strategy sets out six key commitments: building an inclusive culture, holding leaders accountable, improving representation of women in senior academic roles and STEMM, achieving gender balance in leadership, making flexibility the norm and closing the pay gap. With this initial two-year action plan, we are making a strong statement to the University community of our commitment to create sustainable change for equality at Macquarie.

Our work in this area is led by our Gender Equity Strategy Committee chaired by our Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and our Director of Human Resources.

Gender Equity Strategy Committee membership

Professor Sakkie Pretorius

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research (Co-Chair)

Nicole Gower

Director of Human Resources (Co-chair)

Mark Broomfield

Director of Property 

Neil Durrant

Faculty General Manager, Faculty of Arts

Corrinne Franklin

Lecturer, Department of Indigenous Studies

Kim Guerin

Director of Campus Life

Jo Hatton  

Manager of Workplace Equity and Diversity

Professor Lesley Hughes

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research Integrity and Development and Distinguished Professor of Biological Science

Professor Barbara Messerle

Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Professor Anne Ross-Smith

Associate Dean, Curriculum and Quality Assurance, Faculty of Business and Economics

JoAnne Sparks

University Librarian

Professor Johanna Westbrook

Director, Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research, Australian Institute of Health Innovation

Professor Sherman Young

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching

Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE)

Macquarie University is proud to participate in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot of the Athena SWAN program in Australia. Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) is an initiative of the Australian Academy of Science in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. It addresses gender equity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines.

Statistics show that women comprise more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, but just 17 per cent of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes. The loss of so many women scientists is a significant waste of expertise, talent and investment, and this impacts our nation’s scientific performance and productivity.

The program has been adapted from the Athena SWAN Charter, established in the UK in 2005, an accreditation and improvement program for higher education and research organisations focusing on gender and other forms of inequality. The Athena Swan Charter is proving highly successful in transforming gender equity action to improve the promotion and retention of women and gender minorities within STEMM.

Macquarie University is one of 40 institutions around Australia taking part in the SAGE pilot, which involves application for an Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award, by demonstrating a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. This process takes around two years including preparation, training and collating evidence.

For more information on SAGE or the pilot program, visit the SAGE website.

Macquarie University has formed a SAGE Self-Assessment Team comprising of a mix of academic and professional staff with a diverse range of personal and professional backgrounds, to work on our SAGE submission. The team is being led by Distinguished Professor Lesley Hughes, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research Integrity and Development, and Distinguished Professor of Biological Science.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency reports

In accordance with the requirements of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, Macquarie University lodges its public report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). All universities are required to submit their reports by 31 July annually. 

The 2016-2017 WGEA Report (PDF) was lodged on 31 July 2017. Macquarie University employees are invited to provide comments on the report to Jo Hatton, Manager, Workplace Equity and Diversity Unit at All comments will be treated with confidentiality.

Back to the top of this page