SAGE Updates
In this issue:

Message from the CEO

Dear subscribers and friends of SAGE,

Thank you for your warm welcome as I settle into my role. It has been wonderful getting to know members of the SAGE community, and I look forward to meeting many more of you soon.

Education and research institutions are key in shaping Australia's future. This is why our sector also needs to lead the way and embed sustainable gender equity, diversity and inclusion (GEDI) practices that will drive systemic change.

More diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) across all levels, including leadership, is also crucial. STEM fields are regarded as key drivers for future innovation, yet STEM has one of the largest gender gaps. Women comprise 27% of the STEM research workforce, where they earn 18% less than men – that amounts to an annual difference of $27,000.

We must have strategic and systemic approaches to GEDI. Together, we can ensure that universities and research institutes are safe places to work and learn allowing all Australians to thrive. Parental leave policies, bias in recruitment practices and opportunities for women to enter leadership positions are just three areas that require attention.

Looking back on the first quarter at SAGE:

We made a submission to the ACT Government on the third installment of their Women’s Plan, highlighting that gender-responsive procurement can be a lever to change.

On March 3, I spoke at an International Women’s Day lunch in Canberra hosted by UN Women Australia – emphasising the importance of HR practices for diversity and inclusion. I was also interviewed for the Australian Government’s Diversity in STEM Review, in which I stressed the need for collaboration and systemic approaches to organisational change like SAGE.

Looking ahead:

Let’s take GEDI to the next level in 2023. We must break the silos and focus on collaboration, both within and amongst organisations. Organisations must have a common agenda, mutually beneficial agreements, robust data tools and continued communication.

We are working with our UK partner Advance HE to provide subscribers with access to products, including leadership programs. We will establish forums to promote two-way learning with our international counterparts.

SAGE is reviewing the processes around the Athena Swan program, including the Cygnet Awards. This is key to reducing administrative burden so everyone can focus on their actions.

Lastly, we’d love to hear about your 2023 GEDI plans, and learn how we can support you in achieving your goals.

Dr Janin Bredehoeft


Speech bubbles.

Shape the future of EDI in the higher ed and research sector

The Australian Government is conducting a number of consultations that are relevant to the higher education and research sector:

SAGE will lend our equity, diversity and inclusion viewpoint to these discussions. We encourage all our subscribers to take part by considering EDI their own submission or by contributing feedback to inform SAGE’s submissions.

Athena Swan Silver Award logo.

Silver Award consultation closing soon 

Want to help shape the requirements and application process for an Athena Swan Silver Award?

Take some time to review the draft Silver Award application form, which was sent to SAGE program leads for consultation last year.

We want to make sure the proposed Silver accreditation model works for our subscribers, so please send us your feedback by 7 April 2023.

If your organisation needs more time to finalise its submission, just let us know.

Smiling man.

Help us review SAGE award applications

Are you an EDI practitioner or someone with experience in peer review and impact assessment? Do you enjoy learning about gender equity, diversity and inclusion work in the higher education and research sector?

If the answer’s yes, you should apply to be a SAGE reviewer! You’ll play an important part in upholding the high standards of SAGE accreditation.

Online reviewer training will be provided. 

If you belong to a privileged group, it’s also a great way to show allyship by sharing this responsibility with members of underrepresented and/or marginalised groups.


Woman video conferencing.

SAGE national network meeting

29 March, 1 pm AEDT | Online

Every SAGE institution from across the country will come together for the first time in 2023. We will share important updates such as:

  • SAGE’s submission to the Australian Universities Accord Consultation
  • Changes to improve the efficiency of Cygnet Award review process

We’ll also have a special guest: Sarah Dickinson Hyams, the Assistant Director of International Charters at Advance HE. This is your chance to ask Sarah anything about Athena Swan around the globe.

See the agenda attached to the calendar invite for more details. If you work on the SAGE program at your institution but did not receive an invitation, contact

Man speaking on video call.

Regional network meetings are a great opportunity for SAGE program leads in each state/territory to find out what each other are up to, exchange advice on good practice and collaborate on exciting GEDI projects in the sector.

  • NSW – 9 May
  • VIC – 10 May
  • SA – 11 May
  • QLD – 16 May
  • ACT – 17 May
  • WA – 18 May

30 March, 2 pm AEDT | Online

The Office of the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador have developed a free tool that helps you implement gender equity initiatives in 4 easy steps.

Join the launch to find out how to use it in your workplace.


Trophy and confetti.

University of Newcastle achieves two Cygnet Awards

The university used targeted recruitment strategies and carefully designed career development programs to attract, retain and progress more women and Indigenous staff.

Baby hand on adult hand.

New legislation for paid parental leave

From July 2023, parents will get more flexibility around when and who takes parental leave. Single parents will also get 20 weeks paid leave (previously 18). The changes will make it easier for parents of any gender to welcome the new addition to their family.


3 actions for gender equitable workplaces

"Surely STEM organisations, who pride themselves on disruptive innovation, can find alternatives to this outdated idea of how leaders must work?"

SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft challenges the norm of full-time-only management roles for Third Sector.

Enid Lyons and Dorothy Tangney entering Parliament House.

Remembering political trailblazer Enid Lyons

Sculptures of Enid Lyons and Dorothy Tangney were recently unveiled as the first statues of women in the parliamentary triangle.

The recognition is welcome, but it shows we're still a long way from achieving gender equality, says SAGE Chair Libby Lyons.

Copyright © 2023 Science in Australia Gender Equity Ltd, All rights reserved.

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