SAGE is a national pilot program promoting gender equity and diversity in higher education, medical research institutes and publicly-funded research organisations. SAGE is based on the successful Athena SWAN Charter of the UK, which has been in operation for over ten years and has seen significant results in improving gender diversity and bolstering women’s leadership roles within science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) institutions.
SAGE is adapting the Athena SWAN charter to suit the Australian research system. It requires participating organisations to collect, analyse and present data on gender equity policies and practices; identify gaps and opportunities for improvement; and make a public commitment, in the form of an action plan, to make those improvements happen.
Forty Australian higher education and research organisations ranging from medical research institutes to government research agencies such as CSIRO have signed on to be SAGE participants.
Over time, SAGE aims to eliminate persistent gender bias in the higher education and research sectors, increase the number of women with STEMM skills and capabilities in the workforce, improve career pathways for researchers and innovators, and increase the number of women in leadership and senior executive roles in research organisations and STEMM-based industries.
SAGE has changed the conversation around gender equity in the research sector — instead of simply talking about gender equity as a problem, research organisations are taking action deliver measurable change in practices and cultures.
Read about some inspiring women doing important research in the STEMM field.