UOW recognised as a ‘Champion’ of Women in STEM
University committed to gender equity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine
The University of Wollongong (UOW) has been recognised as a national Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion by the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), reaffirming the University’s commitment to gender equity.
The AAS in collaboration with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (AATE) developed the Women in STEM Decadal Plan to offer a vision and opportunities to guide organisations as they work towards achieving gender equality in Australia’s STEM sector by 2030.
UOW was recognised as a Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion after submitting its response to the Plan to the AAS.
As a Champion of the Women in STEM Decadal Plan, UOW is committed to advancing gender equity in academia, and promoting science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine as career choices for women and girls.
The “STEMM” skills (UOW includes medicine as well as science, technology, engineering, mathematics as an area of focus in the University’s gender equality efforts) are the foundation on which the Australian workforce, industries and the economy will thrive in coming decades.
Demand for a STEMM-skilled workforce will continue to grow over that period as automation based on big data, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence are adopted widely across all industries.
To meet this demand and to build the strongest STEMM workforce possible to support Australia’s prosperity, the government, academia, industry and the education sector need to tackle the significant under-representation of women in STEMM.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE said gender equality was critical to an organisation’s success and crucial for society as a whole.
“As UOW’s Vice-Chancellor, I am continually working to ensure that this message is conveyed to all staff and students, particularly in the traditionally male-focused STEMM disciplines,” Professor Wellings said.
“All people working at UOW should feel they are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of gender. We are proud that the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) recognises UOW as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality.
“Gender equality and gender pay equity is, and will continue to be, a priority at UOW.”
The Women in STEM Decadal Plan outlines six opportunities for organisations to advance gender equity: leadership and cohesion; evaluation; workplace culture; visibility; education; and industry action.
The UOW Response to the Plan summarises the progress the University has made in each of those areas and the ways in which the University will continue to work towards gender equality over the next decade.
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor Jennifer L Martin AC has long been an advocate for gender equity in STEMM. She was a founding member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Steering Committee that established the Athena SWAN pilot to address gender equity in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine, and a member of the NHMRC Women in Health Sciences Committee.
Professor Martin pointed to the 2020-2025 UOW Research and Innovation Strategy, developed and launched this year, as an example of the University’s efforts to advance gender equity.
“A strategic objective of our Research and Innovation Strategy is to address historical inequities by increasing the diversity of academic appointments, including women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and other under-represented groups,” she said.
“This year the University has appointed Associate Deans in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in every faculty, and we are introducing training and governance structures that embed and uphold best practice principles of research integrity; equity, diversity and inclusion.”
The UOW Response to the Women in STEM Decadal Plan is published here.
More information about the Women in STEM Decadal Plan is available on the Australian Academy of Science website.