Murdoch University has been recognised for its commitment to improving gender equity and diversity, successfully securing Athena SWAN Bronze Accreditation as part of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative.Athena SWAN is an internationally recognised program striving to improve gender equity in the higher education and research sector, particularly in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines.
The accreditation process required an extensive investigation about how well Murdoch University understands and responds to its gender equity and diversity issues.
Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen said Murdoch University should be proud of the progress made so far, but noted there is still work to be done to address gaps in gender equity.
“Upon commencing as Murdoch’s first female Vice Chancellor in 2016, I was attracted to guiding principles that foster an inclusive, diverse workforce and dynamic academic environment,” said Professor Leinonen.
“Achieving this bronze accreditation is an important step in the right direction. But, advancing gender equity is an ongoing process. Murdoch University has developed a comprehensive four-year action plan to improve gender equity and diversity.”
The action plan is based on staff feedback and thorough analyses of internal data, policy and practice.
Though the plan looks to the future, the University has already made progress towards its objectives, launching a range of initiatives to support and attract talented and experienced female employees.
These include custom-designed parenting facilities, leadership development opportunities and targeted forums for women to share, collaborate and network with female colleagues who have successfully navigated their professional, academic and research careers, despite career disruptions and other structural and cultural barriers.
Vice Chancellor Professor Eeva Leinonen noted the accreditation was firmly aligned with Murdoch University’s existing and emerging institutional strategies including its Strategic Plan and Future Horizon 2017-2027, the Reconciliation Action Plan, and its Disability Action and Inclusion Plan.
“This Athena SWAN accreditation is timely, as we embrace our University’s vision to become a creative force for current and future generations. Working together to further equity and diversity is a cornerstone of this vision and I look forward to implementing genuine and lasting change.”