Goal 5: Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Not only is gender equality critical to an organisation’s success, it is also crucial for society as a whole. Research shows that companies and communities thrive with diverse perspectives and flexibility in thinking, which leads to higher levels of creativity and innovation. At UOW, we already have a range of strategies in place to achieve gender equality and we are committed to continual improvement.

The University of Wollongong is committed to working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its governance, teaching and learning, community engagement, partnerships and research. The following initiatives are by UOW staff and students working towards SDG 5: Gender Equality.

SAGE pilot of Athena Swan in Australia

UOW is a proud recipient of the prestigious Athena SWAN Bronze Institution Award from Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), which recognises our commitment to advancing women’s careers in the traditionally male-dominated STEMM disciplines. The Athena SWAN Bronze Institution Award also recognises UOW’s commitment to advancing the careers of women, trans and gender-diverse individuals.

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Workplace gender equality

UOW has been recognised as one of the prominent organisations in Australia focused on gender equality in the workplace and providing meaningful support for men and women to achieve their career goals. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation is designed to encourage, recognise and promote active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces. The citation is a public recognition of an organisation’s commitment to gender equality. UOW is among only 119 recipients of the 2019-20 citation compared to 141 the previous year, and only 13 Australian universities now hold the revised citation, compared to 17 universities previously. 


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STEM Holiday Camp

STEM Holiday Camp invites young women aged between 15 and 17 held in January every year to participate in a camp focussing on STEM subjects. STEM shapes our world and STEM professionals manage our food and water supplies, promote health and wellbeing, and contribute largely to global productivity and economic growth. The STEM Camp provides young women entering Years 10 and 11 a fun and hands-on STEM experience and an exciting introduction to careers in STEM. 


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This camp furthered my understanding of STEM and how it effects the world. This has motivated me to work harder and prove that women can do anything.
Participant STEM Holiday Camp

Lucy mentoring program

Lucy is a leadership program for female students at UOW. The aim of Lucy is to motivate and educate women about the career opportunities in law by establishing relationships between students and mentors who have achieved success in their professional career. Mentors are drawn from the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors.


"The Lucy program gave me unique access to some incredible and inspiring people in the legal industry. I gained not only a mentor, but a friend and a sounding board to chat about all those burning questions final year law students have about their career options. Lucy empowered me to build lifelong connections, be inquisitive, and value every conversation, and it opened the doors to exciting opportunities I never thought I'd have."

Alex Doust, Bachelor of Journalism/Laws  

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Women in MBA

Women in MBA is an initiative aimed at improving the participation of women in Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs. UOW’s Sydney Business School provides financial support, guidance and advice and access to events. An MBA has a significant impact on career pathways and is particularly powerful in enabling middle-managers to progress to executive and board room roles.


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Homeward Bound

Senior Professor Sharon Robinson is a co-leader of Homeward Bound’s Science Stream, a mentoring program supporting women in science from across the globe to strengthen their confidence to lead, build networks with other science leaders and gain support professionally and personally.


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Supporting women researchers

Established in 2013, the UOW Global Challenges Program aims to cultivate research excellence while improving equality & diversity, and supporting the next generation of research leaders. In 2019, 54 per cent of Project grants were led by women researchers & 50 per cent of Seed projects were led by Early Career Researchers. The Global Challenges model provides non-financial as well as financial support, including media and marketing, support writing award and grant applications, mentoring and relationship building and research development and advice from leaders.


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Latest news for SDG 5

Anatomy texts should show sex as a spectrum to include intersex people
Chancellor-elect Ms Christine McLoughlin
Women’s Research Engineers Network (WREN) members (left to right) Dr Emily Yan (Research Engineer – Industry 4.0 Hub/ MMMB), Dr Marcella Papini (Associate Research Fellow – SMART), Ms Grace Kennedy (Associate Research Fellow -SMART), Dr Apsara Jayasekara (Associate Research Fellow/MMMB) and Dr Mainã Portella Garcia (Research Fellow – MMMB).