Preserving gender equality during and after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our society and our institutions. These circumstances pose specific challenges for gender equality for our students and staff across the higher education sector.

UOW is delighted to announce its participation in the newly formed ‘Higher Education Senior Equity Practitioners Advisory Group on Gender and COVID-19’, a sub-group of Universities Australia. Universities participating in this group commit to adopting five common actions aimed at preserving gender equality as a priority during and after the COVID-19 crisis. This group provides an excellent opportunity for whole-sector practice exchange and collaboration to ensure that the sector emerges from COVID-19 without irretrievable loss of momentum for gender equality. These five actions are:

  1. Actively seek equal representation of women in COVID-19 response planning and decision-making as per the recommendations of the United Nations.
  2. Formally monitor and report on gender equity impacts of COVID-19 related decision making (including compounding intersectional factors) within our own institutions and collaborate with other universities and sector partners to address emerging issues.
  3. Continue our participation in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Athena SWAN initiative (as relevant).
  4. Maintain gender equity and diversity programs and Key Performance Indicators for gender equity and diversity where they currently exist.
  5. Preserve the gender equity progress which has been made to date and into which has been invested significant time, effort and resourcing over many years, by maintaining:
    • women’s representation at senior academic levels D and E
    • women’s representation at senior professional staff levels 10+
    • support for the progression of women as students, higher degree researchers and early-mid career researchers
    • support for gender equity for those studying and working in ‘non-traditional’ disciplines such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Please refer to the Australian Higher Education Joint Sector Position Statement for more information. 

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