ANU strengthens commitment to gender equity

Brian Schmidt
Tuesday 8 March 2016

The University has used International Women's Day to strengthen its commitment to gender equity.

At an International Women's Day event for female academics, staff and students, Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt committed ANU to joining the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Pilot project.

Professor Schmidt said while the SAGE project would initially focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine, he hoped it would work across all colleges and divisions at the University.

"Today is a day where the world pauses to reflect on the achievements of women. It is also a day were we acknowledge the many areas of gender inequality that still exist and that we still need to address - institutionally, nationally and internationally," Professor Schmidt said.

"I am deeply committed to helping women achieve the full promise of their academic careers at ANU.

"But to achieve gender equity we need a cultural shift. We need to stamp out the culture of exclusion and unconscious bias that leaves many women feeling discouraged and marginalised."

He said the SAGE Initiative was set up to address the underrepresentation of women in science and ensure as many women as men take up positions in science leadership.

"It probably comes as no surprise 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," he said.

"The loss of women scientists is a significant waste of expertise, talent and investment, and negatively impacts our nation's scientific productivity."

He said the SAGE Pilot would also examine support for transgender women and for Indigenous Australians.

"We'll also explore how other diversity groups including race, culture, disability and sexual orientation intersect with gender issues," he said.

ANU will be one of 32 universities and research agencies to take part in the SAGE Pilot, which starts in September 2016.

 

Originally published at the ANU Media Newsroom

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