Flinders University will take part in a ground-breaking national pilot program to help promote and retain more women in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot – a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) – will be the first Australian trial of the successful UK Athena SWAN gender equity accreditation program.
Thirty-two organisations will participate in the pilot – officially launched in Canberra yesterday (September 16) – including universities, medical research institutes and the CSIRO.
Flinders University is proud to build on its reputation for social justice and equity through its involvement in the program, which rates the gender equity policies and practices of participating organisations with a gold, silver or bronze award and helps them to develop ways to promote and retain women and gender minorities in their organisations.
The Athena SWAN charter began a decade ago with just 10 universities but has grown today to include as a member nearly every STEMM education and research institution in the UK.
“Most science disciplines are dominated by men in senior positions, despite the fact that roughly equal numbers of men and women study science and start science careers,” said Professor Andrew Holmes, President of the Australian Academy of Science.
“Not only is this inherently inequitable and unfair, the loss of women from science also represents a very substantial cost to Australia in training, talent and opportunities for scientific innovation.”