Academic Women in Leadership (AWIL) Program

AWIL Background

The AWIL Program is a gender equity initiative that has been conducted annually at UNSW since 2006.  The overarching Organisational purpose is to:
  • Build a visible cohort of high potential, talented academic women to lead with confidence and competence
  • Contribute to an increase in representation and distribution of academic women in senior appointments and on key policy and decision-making bodies
  • Support the 2025 UNSW strategies of building a culture that values and rewards staff excellence, and for its provision of pathways for development and progression.
 

Program Aim

  • The AWIL Program aims to assist participants to respond to the issues and opportunities that they face, in a way that supports a successful academic leadership career.

Program Objectives

  • To build the capability and confidence of participants to take on key leadership roles at UNSW
  • To Provide AWIL participants with the opportunity to:
    • Gain deeper understanding of their personal capacity and how it contributes to career objectives
    • Grow leadership capability and integrate into their roles, to support their career progression
    • Investigate career drivers and navigate the multiple roles they hold within the system
    • Observe the workings of their faculty within the broader context of UNSW
    • Develop core relationships necessary for progress
    • Build resilience to make progress in their career
    • Develop the polical savvy to influence effectively and work with purpose

Benefits of Participating

Participants from previous AWIL programs at UNSW describe one of the most valuable aspects of the program as the relationships that they forge with colleagues from across the University.  Strong relationships form as they explore, develop, and realize their potential in the company of colleagues.  They:
  • Recognise and build on interpersonal skills and attributes to sustain a career in academia
  • Explore what drives them to achieve and the value and impact of those drivers on their career and on others
  • Identify and practise relevant  skills, behaviours and relationships to increase their profile and connect with others
  • Establish their purpose and vision for their career, and clarify roles and activities to which they aspire in the long term.  Initiate short and medium term activities to enhance their career success
  • Strengthen knowledge, understanding and personal connection to their school and faculty, and expand awareness of decision making processes in order to influence more effectively
  • Listen and learn from academic leaders about the applications of  leadership in academia
  • Enhance their profile and support your career objectives; Be Seen, Be Heard, Be Credible
 

Eligibility for AWIL

Entry onto the AWIL program is through a competitive application and selection process that is completed in February each year. Invitations are sent via email to eligible women to apply for the Program at the end of the preceding year.
 
There are two different AWIL Programs with only one program conducted each year. In 2016, the mid-senior career AWIL Program is being conducted. Each Program runs for 10 months and the eligibility requirements are:
 
1. Mid-Senior Career AWIL Program for Academic Women who at time of application:
  • have been at Level C for more than 3 years, OR are at Level D, OR recently promoted to Level E, OR Level E and new to UNSW, and
  • Have been employed as an academic at UNSW for more than two years, and
  • Have a PhD or Doctorate, or significant equivalent professional experience in a relevant area, and
  • Are continuing, or on fixed term or tenure track contract that extends to the end of the year of the Program
 
 2. Early-Mid Career AWIL Program for Academic Women who at time of application:
 
  • Are at Level B OR within the first 3 years of promotion to Level C
  • Have been employed as an academic at UNSW for more than two years, and
  • Have a PhD or Doctorate, or significant equivalent professional experience in a relevant area, and
  • Are continuing, or on fixed term or tenure track contract that extends to the end of the year of the Program
 
 
Twenty academic women will be selected for the program each year.
Click here to open up the program calendar for more information.