University achieves Athena SWAN Bronze Award for commitment to action on gender equity

Athena SWAN
Fiona Bell, Marilys Guillemin and Robyn May received the Athena SWAN Bronze Award on behalf of the University of Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne has been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award for its commitment to advancing gender equity and promoting greater inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) disciplines.

Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said diversity and inclusion sits at the heart of building a respectful community and is a key focus in the University’s new 2030 strategic plan. “The award is great recognition of the ongoing efforts made by the University to improve gender diversity.

“The University of Melbourne is committed to building a vibrant and inclusive community and we are absolutely clear about having a laser-like focus on the need for a diverse and respectful environment across all our campuses,” Professor Maskell said.

The Athena SWAN program provides an accreditation framework for higher education and research institutions to explore gender inequities, with a focus on STEMM disciplines. It has been successful in the UK and has a strong international reputation for creating more inclusive workplaces. The Bronze Award is recognition that an institution has demonstrated an understanding of its current state of gender equity and has committed to a four-year action plan to address identified challenges.

The program is run by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) and the University was presented with its award at the 2020 SAGE Awards Dinner in Adelaide last night.

Vice-President Strategy and Culture Dr Julie Wells said the University has taken many positive steps to improve gender equity, adding there was more work to do to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions and to promote an inclusive culture for women.

“The University has a strong commitment to take action on gender equity and has developed governance mechanisms and senior leadership accountability to strengthen diversity and inclusion and ensure fairness and respect across our broad community,” Dr Wells said.

Dr Wells praised the efforts of many people across the University for advancing gender equity and helping achieve the Bronze Award, including the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, chaired by Professor Julie Willis, the University’s Athena SWAN project lead Professor Marilys Guillemin and the University’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team (SAT).

As an Athena Swan program member, the University is committed to adopting the progressive Athena SWAN charter and has conducted a multi-year process of self-assessment on metrics of gender equity and proposed a four-year action plan to address inequities.

To find out more about the University’s Athena SWAN program, please click here.