News & Events


4 September 2017

Equal Pay Day Announced for 4 September 2017

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has recently announced that Equal Pay Day for 2017 will be 4 September.  

Libby Lyons, Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), states "The gender pay gap is a measure of lost potential, showing that women still face barriers to accessing senior and high-paying roles. A small improvement over the past year is good news but we need a continued effort to stamp out bias and outdated gender stereotypes."

On Equal Pay Day 4 September 2015 the Vice-Chancellor was named a Pay Equity Ambassador (opens in a new window) as part of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency's campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of pay equity.

As part of our commitment to achieving pay equity, the University conducts annual pay equity audits. To find out more about the gender pay gap at the University and for more details on our pay equity initiatives go to our Gender Pay Equity page.

Find out more information about Equal Pay Day on WGEA's website


August 2017 

Australian Human Rights Commission National Survey Results Available

Respect. Now. Always. is an initiative launched by Universities Australia to ensure that university campuses are places of safety and respect for all students and staff.  The Respect. Now. Always campaign (opens in new window)Opens in a new window is about raising awareness in the university community that sexual assault and sexual harassment are completely unacceptable.

The University's results from the National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities, conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission, are now available on the Respect.Now.Always website.

Respect.Now.Always Overview

Western Sydney University has joined together with other Australian universities to support a new national campaign to prevent sexual assault and harassment. Respect. Now. Always. (Opens in a new window) is an initiative launched by Universities Australia to ensure that university campuses are places of safety and respect for all students and staff. Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and Universities Australia Chair, Professor Barney Glover, says the campaign is about raising awareness in the university community that sexual assault and harassment are completely unacceptable.

Working with partners including the Australian Human Rights Commission, the UNSW Australian Human Rights Centre and The Hunting Ground Australia Project Team, the sector has also begun collaborative work to:

  • Seek more comprehensive data on Australian sexual assault and harassment in universities through a national survey;
  • Participate in a review and update of policies and procedures at universities to prevent sexual assault and harassment; and
  • Share global best practice models for reporting incidents and supporting students who disclose sexual assault or harassment.

For more information:


June 2017

New study available from Diversity Council Australia - Engaging Men on Gender Equality

Initiatives aimed at 'engaging men' to address gender inequality have gained popularity in recent years. But how much do we really know about the most effective ways to engage men in gender equality? The Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) has released a new report, Men Make a Difference: Engaging Men on Gender Equality. Sponsored by Programmed the report examines the evidence for what works and what doesn't, and recommends more effective ways to engage men to achieve gender equality at work.

The report findings also outline ten ways to engage men on gender equality at work:

  1. Get the foundation right – ensure gender equality initiatives involve women and men as active and equal partners.
  2. Get the framing right – treat gender equality as a business issue, not a women's issue.
  3. Go wide – make visible and target all key gender equality areas (i.e. paid work, power and decision making, financial security, personal safety, interpersonal work relationships, caring, and community involvement).
  4. Get the messaging right – to appeal to men as well as women.
  5. Engage a diversity of men – including men in different organisational roles and levels, and with a variety of demographic backgrounds (e.g. ages, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations).
  6. Educate about how to lead change effectively – by resourcing initiatives, being visible and persistent, and 'walking the talk'. 
  7. Make the connection between work and home – by implementing initiatives that encourage gender equality in caregiving.
  8. Make the connection between work and communities – by framing gender inequality as a societal/community problem.
  9. Build individuals' gender confidence and capability – by providing opportunities for both men and women to change their mindsets, assumptions, and behaviours.
  10. Encourage men and women to challenge and change gender-biased organisational policies and practices.

Visit the DCA website to download the report synopsis and infographic.


March 2017

WSU Gender Equality Policy 

The University is committed to improving and promoting gender equality in the workplace. Achieving gender equality enables our University to attract, motivate and retain a diverse and high performance workforce, improve productivity, innovation and creativity, and build social inclusion. 

Our University has recently published our comprehensive Gender Equality Policy. This policy applies to all employees, officers, and members of University committees, and aligns with our Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan. Staff are encouraged to review the policy in full, including the associated guidelines via the Policy DDS


March 2017

A Conversation in Gender Equality

In the second half of 2016, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins travelled to every state and territory to learn about Australia's progress towards gender equality. The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has recently released a paper on the key focus area's which came out of the Commissioner's observations and discussions including violence against women, women's economic security and women's voice and diversity in decision making. The full paper can be downloaded from the AHRC website - A Conversation in Gender Equality.(Opens in a new window)


8 March 2017

International Women's Day 2017

International Women's Day (IWD) (Opens in a new window) is celebrated every year around the world on 8 March.

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

Western Sydney University hosted its annual breakfast in recognition of International Women's Day on the 8th of March 2017. 

This year we were 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. View Professor Bell's full biography.

Professor Bell's presentation "Be Like Gough: 75 Radical Ideas to Transform the Australian Academy" explored the current patterns of participation and success of women in higher education and looked 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. View Professor Bell's Presentation. PDF, 916.36 KB

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.

Early Career Researchers Workshop - 7 March 2017

Professor Bell also hosted a workshop for early career research staff on Parramatta campus.

The workshop was well received and consisted of a presentation by Professor Bell titled "Still Waiting in the Wings?" - exploring the current patterns of participation and success of academic women in higher education and the relevance of the enduring questions How Far Have We Come? and Why So Few? View Professor Bell's presentation. PDF, 646.99 KB, or watch the full recording via the Reseacher Skills icon in My Career Online (staff login required).

2016 IWD Events

  • The 2016 theme for International Women's Day Pledge for Parity was taken up by the Vice-Chancellor in his opening address for our International Women's Day staff breakfast on the 8th of March. Professor Glover spoke of the need to keep a strong focus on gender equality and women's rights. He outlined the University's Gender Equality Strategy and urged staff to think about the actions that they could take to help achieve gender parity more quickly. This was followed by an engaging presentation on Using Gender Equality to Drive Innovation and Success by guest speakers Rodin Genoff and Narelle Hooper, authors of the recently released and highly acclaimed "New Women, New Men, New Economy".
  • The Annual Western Sydney Women of the West and Young Women of the West Awards were held on Friday 18 March at Parramatta Campus. Ambassador for the Awards was was Lisa Wilkinson AM, with special guest speaker Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission.

2014 IWD Events

  • Rhonda Hawkins, Acting Vice-Chancellor hosted the Annual Staff International Women's Day Breakfast on Monday 10 March at Penrith Campus. Guest speaker Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea delivered an excellent presentation on "Women in Research: Closing the Gender Gap".
  • The Annual UWS Women of the West and Young Women of the West Awards were held on Friday 7 March at Parramatta Campus. Special guest speaker was Australian business leader, company director and first female Lord Mayor of Sydney Lucy Turnbull AO.

2013 IWD Events

  • A Staff Breakfast at the Boilerhouse Restaurant on Parramatta Campus hosted by the Vice-Chancellor. Guest Speaker Barrister Jane Seymour spoke about the impacts of the new Workplace Gender Equality Act and proposed changes to Anti-Discrimination legislation.
  • The 2013 UWS Women of the West and Young Women of the West Awards were hosted by the Vice-Chancellor. Guest Speaker was acclaimed theatre director and writer Ros Horin. The 2013 Women of the West Awards video (opens in a new window) can be viewed on YouTube.

2012 IWD Events

  • The 2012 Brunch was hosted by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and included a keynote address by Associate Professor Susanne Gannon and a musical performance by UWS Student Kay Proudlove. Link to YouTube video clip of the IWD Staff Event.(opens in a new window)
  • A community event, hosted by the Vice-Chancellor at which the Annual UWS Women of the West Awards were announced.

18 January 2017

Professor Tom Welton speaking tour - SAGE presentation SydneyImage of Professor Tom Welton and WSU Staff

On 18 January SAGE sponsored a visit from Professor Tom Welton from the Imperial College, London. Professor Welton presented at SAGE member institutions throughout Australia on his experiences, triumphs and lessons in implementing the Athena SWAN program in the UK. 

The Imperial College, Department of Chemistry was awarded a Gold Athena SWAN award for good practice in supporting academic women in September 2013. Chemistry was the first Department at Imperial to receive a Gold award, and was one of the first of four university departments across the UK to win an Athena SWAN Gold Award.

Professor Welton's presentation was attended by over 220 interested academics and professionals and incorporated SAT and leadership workshops. Professor Welton discussed the work done in the Chemistry Department at Imperial College around valuing diversity and enabling all department members to reach their full potential, regardless of who they were. Several staff from Western Sydney University attended his Sydney presentation. 

Western Sydney University is currently a participant in the pilot of the SAGE program based on the UK Athena Swan program.  More information on the SAGE Program at Western Sydney University.


8 December 2016

WGEA releases citation listing for Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has released its list of citation's for the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for 2016. WGEA Media Release. 

Western Sydney University has been recognised with the citation for its longstanding commitment to pay equity and gender equality. This is the 12th consecutive year our University has received this award. A record number of organisations were granted the citation this year indicating that commitment to workplace gender equality is gaining momentum. However, out of the 105 organisations nationwide that received the citation, only 15 universities are included.

This year, the criteria included leadership, learning and development, pay equity, flexible working initiatives to support family responsibilities, employee consultation, prevention of harassment and discrimination, and targets for improving gender equality outcomes.

For more information on gender equality at Western Sydney University visit our gender equality page.


25 November 2016

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

You can do something to help prevent violence against women. Everyone can:

  • promote gender equality and challenge stereotypes and sexist attitudes
  • speak out if you hear excuses for violence or victim blaming
  • spread the word that violence is never and option or a solution and there is NO excuse for it.

Visit www.whiteribbon.org.au for more information.


16 November 2016

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.


27 September 2016

Life as Women in Engineering

To get an inside view from women who work as engineers, Engineers Australia / Western Sydney Regional Group and the University of Western Sydney, School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, will be conducting a presentation on Life as Women in Engineering for universities female students. The seminar will be held at Western Sydney University Kingswood Campus on 27 September 2016 and is free.


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