Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE)
To support our progress towards gender equity at Macquarie, we have signed up to be part of the SAGE Athena SWAN Pilot, along with 40 other Australian universities and research institutes. The Athena SWAN requires us to understand and interrogate our own context and gendered dynamics in relation to recruitment, retention, progression and university culture.
The Athena SWAN charter was first developed in the UK in 2005 – universities and departments can apply for Bronze, Silver or Gold awards recognising progress and impact. The The SAGE pilot (supported by the Australian Academy of Science in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering) is adapting the Athena SWAN charter in Australia. All institutions in the pilot are applying for a Bronze award, and Macquarie is due to submit our application in March 2019. To be successful at Bronze level, we must understand and reflect on our own progress and areas for improvement in relation to gender equity, and develop a 4-year action plan to address issues identified.
The SAGE pilot focuses on STEMM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) as women are underrepresented in these areas at a national level. However, at Macquarie, we are using the Athena SWAN charter as a mechanism to inform our progress towards gender equity across the university. While there may be issues specific to STEMM disciplines that we will aim to address, the majority of actions and initiatives that are developed will be implemented across the university to ensure everyone benefits from this process.