Woman at computer.
17 September 2015

The University of Queensland will help boost gender equity in Australia’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) organisations as part of an Australian-first pilot program.

The Australian Academy of Science, in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, has selected UQ as one of 32 inaugural institutions to be part of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot.

UQ Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) Professor Doune Macdonald said the university was keen to be involved as part of its commitment to supporting gender equity a strategic level.

“Women comprise more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, yet only 17 per cent of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes are female,” said Professor Macdonald.

“This is the sort of statistic that we’ve been working to counteract for some time at UQ, through programs such as Women in Engineering, the Career Progression for Women Program and fellowships to attend conferences,” she said.

“As a top-100 university, UQ has a responsibility to ensure the talent and expertise of Australia’s most gifted female scientists do not go to waste. We need to provide the resources and support to ensure women are afforded equal opportunities in academia and within STEM institutions so they can make a real difference,” Professor Macdonald said.

The Australian SAGE program is based on the Athena SWAN program which has operated in the UK for 10 years and has shown significant results in improving gender diversity and bolstering women’s leadership roles within STEM institutions.

The Australian program will feature training workshops on gender equity and gender equity accreditation for universities, medical research centres and Government research organisations who are participating in the pilot.

Contact: UQ Communications, 07 3346 0561 or communications@uq.edu.au