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ATN universities unite to address gender inequity

16 September 2015

All five members of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) have signalled their commitment to addressing the under representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by signing up to the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot.

Inspired by a similar program in Britain called Athena SWAN, the SAGE pilot is a gender equity accreditation program that rates the gender equity policies and practices of participating organisations with a gold, silver or bronze award.

 ATN Executive Director Renee Hindmarsh says the program would make a significant impact in addressing the gender gap in STEM.

 “The ATN have always been committed to championing the principles of access and equity that ensure our brightest minds can be inspired and nurtured within our universities.

“ATN universities are proud of existing policies and activities such as scholarships geared specifically at women and professional development programs that encourage female participation in STEM.

“We already have some terrific examples of women leaders in the STEM field across our network and we hope this program will support more women to be future leaders in science and technology.

“The SAGE pilot will remove the barriers faced by women in academia, whilst promoting a culture that celebrates women in STEM.”

Women make up about half the number of undergraduate university students studying STEM, but only 17% are senior academics in institutions across the country.

“We have a responsibility to ensure our nation’s talent and expertise are kept in our institutions in order to sustain our prosperity, build on our successes in innovation to keep pace in a rapidly evolving global economy,” Ms Hindmarsh says.

Thirty two universities, medical research institutes and publicly funded research agencies will participate in the SAGE pilot.

SAGE is a partnership between the AAS and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

Media contact: Renee Hindmarsh Mobile: 0416 265 038