UWA acknowledges that working towards gender equity requires us to embrace everyone, whether they are men or women, and irrespective of whether they are transgender or intersex. This also means being inclusive of people who do not fall neatly within the categories of male and female, such as people with non-binary identities. Furthermore, the University understands that gender equity will only be achieved when gender is addressed in relation to systemic, intersectional and unconscious discrimination.

UWA aims to be an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality to reduce the gender pay gap and to promote gender equity in leadership and decision-making. The University also seeks to enhance the inclusion of women in non-traditional areas of work and study.

Students interested in tackling issues faced by women are encouraged to get in touch with the Student Guild's Women's Department or follow their Facebook page.

    UWA policies

    The University has a number of policies relevant to the broad area of gender equality and actively pursues new initiatives to provide a fair and empowered place to work and study.

    Workplace Gender Equality Agency Annual Public report 2021-22

    In accordance with the requirements of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act), The University of Western Australia lodged its 2021-22 annual public report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (Agency). As an employee of this organisation you may make comments on the report to us by email to Jessica Gallagher in Organisational Development and Workforce Diversity or to the Agency. Please refer to the Agency's guidelines on this process on their website www.wgea.gov.au.

    2021-22 WGEA Annual Public Reports

    Achievement relative to opportunity

    In contemporary universities, the traditional norm of full-time work and an uninterrupted linear career trajectory no longer matches the profile of many staff. The principle of achievement relative to opportunity (AR20) in employment and performance-related decision making provides the opportunity to create a workplace culture that attracts and retains the best staff with a diversity of characteristics, employment arrangements and career histories.

    The project is working on finding practical ways to incorporate these principles into evaluative and developmental frameworks such as recruitment and selection processes, workload formula, the Professional Development Review (PDR) and in the offering of internal grants and other opportunities.

    Resources for staff and manager

    Australian Human Rights Commission

    The Gender Centre

    What is Athena SWAN?

    The Athena SWAN Charter is an evaluation and accreditation program aiming to enhance gender equity across science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

    The Athena SWAN Charter is governed by 10 principles, all of which encourage institutions to ensure women academics and researchers from all backgrounds are best positioned to reach their full potential.

    The Athena SWAN accreditation has been running in the UK for almost a decade. In Australia, the Academies of Science and Technological Science and Engineering implemented the SAGE Athena SWAN initiative in 2015.

    In 2016, UWA was one of 32 universities, medical research institutes and publicly funded institutions who became inaugural members of the Australian SAGE Athena SWAN program. Through this membership, UWA is helping to drive this important cultural change across STEMM.

    Awarded Bronze in 2020, UWA's Athena SWAN action plan was recognised for its commitment to gender diversity in the STEMM subjects of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.

    What is the Athena SWAN project at UWA?

    The Athena SWAN project at UWA is overseen by the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC), which is chaired by the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and comprised of key functional leaders of the University. A Self-Assessment Team (SAT), with members from all levels and functions across the University, was tasked with preparing an application for SAGE Athena SWAN accreditation.

    Taking part in SAGE Athena SWAN is an important part of our People and Culture 2020-2025 Strategy, which focuses on developing an inclusive and diverse workforce that lives its values, and demonstrates UWA?s commitment to being an employer that is free from bias.

    Why we participated in the SAGE Athena SWAN accreditation

    UWA is committed to excellence and equity in everything we do. This requires attracting, retaining and developing a diverse range of high-performing academics. We know women are under-represented in senior academic positions in STEMM; the SAGE Athena SWAN project seeks to identify what causes this, and to implement initiatives and interventions.

    Through the Athena SWAN project, we have highlighted the barriers preventing the University from recruiting and retaining more high-performing women academics and researchers. We have also identified what can be done to better advance the careers of women working in STEMM at UWA. The Action Plan provides a road map to address these barriers and create new opportunities.

    SAGE Athena SWAN accreditation is recognition of this pursuit of excellence through gender equity.

    What does it mean?

    It is time to take action. There are a number of actions that UWA must take to maintain SAGE Athena SWAN accreditation. It is about encouraging a positive culture change and ensuring that both women and men have the maximum opportunity to achieve their potential at UWA.


    If you have questions please send them to [email protected].

    Inclusive meeting times

    The University of Western Australia recognises the importance of creating an inclusive workplace as being critical to its success. We are committed to supporting work-life balance for all staff and supporting staff with caring and family responsibilities. The University encourages managers and anyone scheduling meetings to be mindful of attendees' working patterns, including caring for relatives, school drop-offs, and flexible working arrangements.

    This is in line with our Gender Balance on Committee's Policy, which provides that every effort will be made to arrange for Committee meetings at times that will not disadvantage or preclude the participation of people with caring responsibilities or who are working part-time. For example, the Chair might consider varying the schedule of meetings so as not to systematically exclude individual Committee members. 

    Meetings that all committee or team members are expected to attend should take into account the working arrangements of all members. Many staff, including those with caring responsibilities and other personal commitments may be unable to attend essential meetings if they are scheduled too early or late in the day. This limits staff member's opportunities to participate and can also impact development opportunities.


    Ensure that all colleagues have the opportunity to participate in meetings and are not consistently excluded by virtue of the timing of meetings.

    Ensure that all colleagues have the opportunity to engage in discussions and decisions that affect their workplace environment and that meetings benefit from a wide range of perspectives that maximise opportunities for effective discussion.

    This guide fully supports the University's ambition to have an inclusive workplace culture and to ensure that work-life balance is optimised wherever possible. Consideration should be made when scheduling meetings of attendees' working patterns, including caring for relatives, school drop-offs, and flexible working arrangements.

    This guideline applies to all meetings and includes, but is not limited to, School meetings, committee meetings, team meetings, working groups, management meetings and Executive meetings.
    Scheduling meetings at inclusive times promotes an inclusive work environment and culture. It supports staff with caring responsibilities and flexible work arrangements. It facilitates the maximum attendance rate and encourages a broader participation in decision-making.
    Line managers, Heads of Schools, Directors, and Division Heads are responsible for ensuring this guidance is applied fairly and consistently.

    UWA Panel Pledge