Curtin University is committed to maximising the potential of all its staff, regardless of gender, and recognises the importance and value of having a diverse academic workforce in all discipline areas. Curtin is dedicated to the Australian Athena Swan Program and works to advance gender equity in academic and leadership.
What is Athena Swan?
Athena Swan is an accreditation and awards program for gender equity, diversity and inclusion (GEDI) which is administered by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE). In 2018, Curtin were amongst the first Australian cohort to receive the Athena Swan Bronze Award from SAGE for our efforts to improve gender equity and diversity. Curtin has worked to retain and support excellent female academics at Curtin, increase the diversity of the University’s academic workforce, advance the careers of female academics especially in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) disciplines, and to increase the number of female academics in leadership positions.
An Athena Swan Steering Group, chaired by the Associate Provost Professor Julianne Reid, has been established to monitor and provide advice on the implementation of our Athena Swan Action Plan. Professor Reid facilitates the implementation of the Action Plan, leads some of its initiatives and acts as a resource to support Schools, Faculties and other areas that are developing and implementing gender equity actions.
Key Initiatives of the Curtin Athena Swan Program
Below are listed some of the more recent initiatives at Curtin to promote gender equity and diversity at Curtin University.
Future Focus of the Curtin Athena Swan Program
In line with the new SAGE business model for Athena Swan silver accreditation, the current focus for the Curtin Athena Swan Program is on the SAGE Cygnet Awards. Key Barriers to achieving gender equity have been identified within Curtin, and five Key Priority Areas (KPA) have been selected; the actions, outcomes and impact for each KPA will be submitted for recognition as a Cygnet Award over the next 3 years.
The KPAs are:
- Leadership diversity and development – co-led by Professor Linley Lord and Associate Professor Karina Jorritsma. Aims to develops leadership capability and potential including a shared understanding of leadership diversity.
- Growing and strengthening the pipeline of women in Science and Engineering – led by Professor Mark Ogden. This KPA is working to increase the representation of women in science and engineering by creating aspiration and opportunity.
- Equitable and inclusive culture – KPA lead to be determined. This KPA will focus on establishing Curtin as a university that embraces diversity and has a welcoming and inclusive environment that facilitates equity.
- Research diversity and inclusion – led by Professor Michele Willson. This KPA seeks to foster a safe research environment and culture to enable staff to perform at their best.
- Career development and progression – led by Professor Vanessa Chang. Seeks to build capabilities that enable Curtin to develop a workforce of the future.
Below are a list of proposed upcoming initiatives and events organised through the Athena Swan Program:
- June 2022 – July 2022: Presentation of Gender Balance in University, Faculty and School Leadership Teams to Faculty Leadership Teams and the Senior Executive Team.
- July 2022 – August 2022: Launch of the new Athena Swan Communication Plan
- October 2022 – December 2022: Submission of first Athena Swan Cygnet.