News & Events

8 March 2018

International Women's Day Staff Breakfast

Western Sydney University hosted its annual breakfast in recognition of International Women's Day on the 8th of March 2018.

This year we were pleased to have Professor Janice Aldrich-Wright from the School of Science and Health as our keynote presenter. Professor Aldrich-Wright is internationally recognised in the field of anticancer chemistry and pharmacology and is the Academic Lead for our Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Project at Western. View Professor Aldrich-Wright's full biography.

Her keynote presentation, GenderUNLIMITED at WSU: The SAGE Journey, outlined the progress of the SAGE project to date, highlighted the influence of women across our University, and spotlighted SAGE’s developing plans to amplify the contributions of women and gender diverse people moving forward.

The full presentation is available for download here.

This year we were encouraged to "Leave no Women Behind" and #PressforProgress. Find out more about motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive via the IWD website.

2017 IWD Events

  • Western Sydney University hosted a series of events for IWD in 2017. We were fortunate to have Professor Sharon Bell from the Australian National University as our guest speaker at our IWD Breakfast. Prof 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
  • Professor Bell also hosted a workshop for early career research staff on our Parramatta campus 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, The full recording is available via the Reseacher Skills icon in My Career Online (staff login required).
  • A Senior women's dinner was also held with Professor Bell as guest speaker.

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.

21 February 2018

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 2017-18. View WGEA media release.

Western Sydney University has again been recognised with the citation for its longstanding commitment to pay equity and gender equality. This is the 13th consecutive year our University has received this award. View Western Sydney University media release.

In announcing this years recipients WGEA Director, Libby Lyons stated “This year, I am particularly delighted to see some of the innovative and exciting initiatives by our EOCGE citation holders on such issues as flexibility, paid parental leave, supporting women in leadership and addressing gender pay gaps. I congratulate all the 2017-18 citation holders for their commitment and recognition of benefits improved gender equality can bring to their business. These employers are setting the benchmark for other Australian workplaces to follow.”

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

17 November 2017

Australia's latest Gender Equality scorecard

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has launched its annual report on Australia's workforce gender equality data with the release of the 2016-17 Australia's Gender Equality Scorecard.

In the fourth year that data has been collected, the WGEA ‘Scorecard’ provides a comprehensive snapshot of Australia’s workplace gender equality performance. The report highlights areas which have improved, as well as those that still require attention.

Highlights include:

  • The number of organisations analysing their pay gaps has risen by almost 11% in the last 12 months.
  • There has been a small reduction in Australia’s overall gender pay gap, from 17.7% to 17.3%, however women continue to be under-represented in senior management roles.

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

26 October 2017

Research Week 2017 - SAGE Gender in the Workplace Seminar

The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Program is coordinating a 'Gender in the Workplace' seminar as part of this years Research Week. The seminar will include presentations from staff across the University on critical issues affecting gender equality in industry, across academia, and here at Western Sydney University. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion which will provide a productive forum for interdisciplinary discussion around gender and inequality. The intention of the event is to open debate about gender equality on a broad scale, working toward a wide-ranging and progressive discussion that generates ideas on how we move forward with gender equality at Western Sydney University.

To register your interest for the event, please email the SAGE Project Officer, Dr Kieryn McKay at

Invitation to Gender in the Workplace Seminar

October 2017

WSU 2017 Application for Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

Western Sydney University has submitted its application for the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality.  If successful this will mark the 13th consecutive year the University has been awarded the citation. Successful applicants will be announced in February next year.  You can find out more about our previous applications on our Gender Equality page.

4 September 2017

Equal Pay Day 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)

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