UNSW's Athena SWAN Pilot Program

UNSW is proud to be an inaugural member of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australia and is one of 40 institutions across the country participating in the two year pilot (2016-18) of the Award being conducted by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE). The Australian Pilot is modelled on the highly successful Athena SWAN Charter established in the UK in 2005 to address the underrepresentation of women in the science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) disciplines.

During the Pilot process, participants are required to generate and analyse data demonstrating that the institution has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and that it is developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. It also provides an opportunity to consult widely with staff about their views and experiences in regards to a broad range of gender equity issues, to build an evidence-based action plan for the Institution.

The Athena SWAN Pilot Program at UNSW, led by Associate Professor Lucy Marhsall, further embeds the University's commitment to gender equity and diversity, and aligns strongly with the 2025 Strategy.

Meet the Self-Assessment Team leading the implementation of UNSW's Athena SWAN Action Plan.

Click here to see UNSW's Athena SWAN report and action plan as well as the reports from the universities and research institutes who participated in cohort 1. 

Athena Swan

The ten principles of the Athena SWAN Charter

To participate in the Athena SWAN Awards Program, institutions must accept the ten charter principles, then begin the process of collecting and analysing data, developing and implementing action plans, and monitoring progress. Results are submitted for peer-review to qualify for a Bronze Award. 
  1. We acknowledge that academia cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of all.
  2. We commit to advancing gender equality in academia, in particular addressing the loss of women across the career pipeline and the absence of women from senior academic, professional and support roles.
  3. We commit to addressing unequal gender representation across academic disciplines and professional and support functions. In this we recognise disciplinary differences including: the particularly high loss rate of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
  4. We commit to tackling the gender pay gap.
  5. We commit to removing the obstacles faced by women, in particular, at major points of career development and progression including the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career.
  6. We commit to addressing the negative consequences of using short-term contracts for the retention and progression of staff in academia, particularly women.
  7. We commit to tackling the discriminatory treatment often experienced by transgender people.
  8. We acknowledge that advancing gender equality demands commitment and action from all levels of the organisation and in particular active leadership from those in senior roles.
  9. We commit to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender equality, recognising that initiatives and actions that support individuals alone will not sufficiently advance equality.
  10. All individuals have identities shaped by several different factors. We commit to considering the intersection of gender and other factors wherever possible.