Gender Equality

VC Statement on Gender Equality

Professor Barney GloverGender equality is about fundamental human rights and is integral to our commitment to be a world class university recognised for world class education and research.

The University has a proud track record on advancing gender equality. My predecessor, Emeritus Professor Janice Reid AM and the senior executive worked for many years to increase the representation of women in leadership positions, to reduce the gender pay gap and to promote workplace flexibility.

There are a range of supporting strategies and policies in place in the Equity and Diversity Strategic Plan, the Our People 2015 Staffing Strategy, the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy and the Enterprise Agreements.

Currently over 50% of our staff and students are women, 41% of all managers are women and we have one of the highest rates of women professors (41%) in the sector. I want to build further upon this impressive foundation. If we are to be leaders in excellence in teaching, innovation and research it is critical that we utilise the skills and capacities of all our staff.

To guide this process I established the Gender Equality Committee to assist in implementing the University's Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2020 (PDF, 144.65 KB) (opens in a new window) The Strategy addresses how to better support those areas of the organisation that have traditionally struggled to recruit, retain and advance female staff, as well as strategies to facilitate a deeper understanding and commitment to gender equity across the entire organisation.

To progress gender equality further we must challenge the beliefs and attitudes that are undermining progress. To progress gender equality I want to renew the focus on workplace flexibility. We have the policies and procedures in place. It is time to commence a dialogue on how to better implement flexibility in practise at all levels of the university.

I want us to challenge the status quo, to be innovative and creative in how we overcome the barriers that women face, particularly in the STEM disciplines and related non-traditional occupations. I want to continue the University's proud reputation as a sector leader in gender equality.

Professor Barney Glover
Vice-Chancellor and University President

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Employer of Choice Logo of WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

Western Sydney University is an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

This citation was awarded by the Federal Government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) on 8 December 2016. This marks 12 consecutive years that the University has received the award.

In congratulating award recipients, Agency Director, Libby Lyons outlined "WGEA data shows there is progress towards gender equality in Australian workplaces, but it is too slow. It is only through more employers adopting leading practices to promote gender equality in the workplace that we will see the pace of change pick up. That's why it is so encouraging to see more than 100 organisations meet the very high standard required to receive the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation this year. I congratulate all the 2016 citation holders for their commitment and recognition of the strong business case for gender equality. I hope to see continued growth in this community of leading practice employers."

The Vice Chancellor has welcomed the announcement stating that  "The University maintains a strong commitment to gender equality and will continue to explore ways to achieve an inclusive and fair working environment for both women and men. Recently, paid parental leave of eight weeks became available to primary carers who are on a continuing appointment with 12 or more months of service. Other areas we are focusing on are improving the representation of women in senior leadership positions and reducing the pay equity gap."

Western Sydney University Employer of Choice Gender Equality Application 2016

Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2020


Workplace Gender Equality Reporting

Under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, Western Sydney University has an obligation to improve and promote equality for women and men in the workplace.

The University is also required to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) annually on a set of standardised reporting matters under six gender equality indicators. The reporting period refers to the 12 months from 1 April to 31 March annually.

The 2015-2016 Public Report (PDF, 197.34 KB) (opens in a new window)  has been lodged with the Workforce Gender Equality Agency.

Comments on the report can be made to  Dr Sev Ozdowski, Director of Equity and Diversity at s.ozdowski@westernsydney.edu.au or to the Workforce Gender Equality Agency.

If you require the Report in another format please phone Equity and Diversity on 9678 7378.

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Latest news

Gender Equality Fund - EOI close 6 March 2017

Western Sydney University has recently launched its Gender Equality Fund which offers support to facilitate gender equality initiatives and promote inclusion. In announcing the fund Vice Chancellor Professor Barney Glover stated that "Western Sydney University has a long-standing reputation and commitment to Gender Equality in the workplace. The University proactively supports work practices which enable it to attract and retain high quality staff." View more information on the fund including how to apply.


Early Career Researchers Workshop - 7 March 2017

In recognition of International Women's Day 2017 Western Sydney University will be hosting several events across the University including a workshop for early career researchers on Parramatta campus with special guest presenter Professor Sharon Bell.

Professor Bell recently concluded a five-year term as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Charles Darwin University. She is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University and Emeritus Professor at the University of Wollongong. Professor Bell is a member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Expert Advisory Group and Chair, Women in Science in Australia Expert Advisory Board. View Professor Bell's full biography.

The workshop will consist of a presentation by Professor Bell titled "Still Waiting in the Wings?" which will review current participation and success patterns of academic women in higher education and the relevance of the enduring questions How Far Have We Come? and Why So Few? This will be followed by round table discussion with Early Career Research staff from across the University. View full synopsis of Professor Bell's presentation.

To register for this event, please email judy.foster@westernsydney.edu.au by close of business Monday, 27th February 2017.


International Women's Day Staff Breakfast - 8 March 2017Professor Sharon Bell

Western Sydney University will be hosting its annual breakfast in recognition of International Women's Day on the 8th of March 2017. All staff are invited to attend.

This year we are fortunate to have Professor Sharon Bell from the Australian National University as our guest speaker. Professor Bell recently concluded a five-year term as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Charles Darwin University. She is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University and Emeritus Professor at the University of Wollongong. Professor Bell is a member of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Expert Advisory Group and Chair of the Women in Science in Australia Expert Advisory Board. View Professor Bell's full biography.

Professor Bell's presentation "Be Like Gough: 75 Radical Ideas to Transform the Australian Academy" will explore the current patterns of participation and success of women in higher education. She will also look at the implications for our sector, our students, our communities and our future, laying the challenge to find different, and radical, ways to transform the academy to better reflect the diversity and values of our communities.

REGISTER for International Women's Day Staff Breakfast

Contact katie.hayes@westernsydney.edu.au for more information.

The theme for International Women's Day in 2017 is #BeBoldForChange.

You can find out more about how you can take action for gender parity on the IWD website.


Australia's latest Gender Equality scorecard

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency is launching its third year reporting data with the release of Australia's latest Gender Equality Scorecard PDF, 849.78 KB.

The data is contained in Attachment A. The new data shows some encouraging signs - a continued downward trajectory of the gender pay gap and increased women's representation in leadership, though there is still progress to be made. 

To view the data in more detail visit the WGEA Data Explorer.


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