To be truly excellent we need to embrace diversity – in all its forms – and make it part of the fabric of who we are.
Monash has made demonstrable improvements in gender equity, but change isn’t happening fast enough, particularly in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). The current ratio of women in senior academic roles in STEMM at Monash is one in five.
As Science in Australia Gender Equality (SAGE) states, “Women comprise more than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers, but just 17% of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes. The loss of so many women scientists is a significant waste of expertise, talent and investment, and this impacts our nation’s scientific productivity.”
That’s why Monash University is one of the inaugural members of the SAGE pilot of the Athena SWAN program. Building on our gender balance, recruitment and retention of brilliant women academics, our inclusion in SAGE pilot of the Athena SWAN extends our capacity to enhance gender equity across STEMM disciplines.
By working towards an Institutional Bronze Award in 2018, we will put the spotlight on identifying and implementing practical strategies that will make a real difference towards achieving gender equity in STEMM.
To achieve these aims, we have enlisted a diverse group of STEMM professionals and other representatives, led by Prof John Carroll.
About Athena SWAN
Athena SWAN was established in the UK in 2005 in response to chronic underrepresentation of women in science. Providing an accreditation framework offering Bronze, Silver and Gold awards in recognition of institutional capacity to eliminate gender inequity, the program is gaining traction more broadly too, with UK medical research institutes required to achieve a minimum Silver Award to receive research funding.
Participating institutions in the Athena SWAN pilot are required to collect comprehensive data on current gender equity policies and practices, identify gaps and opportunities for improvement, and develop and implement plans to improve gender equity at all levels, a process which will culminate with the submission of our application for Bronze award accreditation.