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Athena SWAN

Athena SWAN

Core to Edith Cowan University’s namesake (Edith Dircksey Cowan) and the University’s values, is the pursuit of redressing inequalities and improving education and opportunities for women. ECU is the only university named after a woman in Australia, a woman whose lifetime achievements included a strong focus on gender equality.

The University is proud to be one of fifteen Australian institutions to have received an inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze Award at Parliament House in Canberra on 5 December 2018 hosted by the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Initiative.

The accreditation framework is based on ten key principles which commit to creating gender inclusive workplaces. Originating in the UK, there are currently 45 participants in Australia including universities, medical research institutes and publicly-funded research organisations. The Bronze Institution Award recognises institutions who understand the current state of gender equity in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) disciplines and have developed a four-year action plan which targets structural and cultural barriers, driving diversity in higher education and research.

Media Releases

ECU recieves an Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Friday, 07 December 2018

The University is proud to be one of fifteen Australian institutions to have received an inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze Award at Parliament House in Canberra on 5 December 2018. To achieve this accreditation with SAGE, ECU underwent a rigorous two year process, which involved identifying the barriers to equality and devising practices, processes and actions to address them.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) announced new co-Chair of Universities Australia Executive Women’s Group for 2019/2020

Monday, 03 December 2018

Marking the launch of Universities Australia Sponsorship Guidelines on 20 November 2018, ECU’s Professor Caroline Finch was officially announced as co-Chair for the Executive Women’s Group along with University of New South Wales Deputy Vice-Chancellor Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Professor Eileen Baldry for 2019/2020. ECU’s Athena SWAN Lead and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Partnerships), Professor Cobie Rudd nominated Professor Finch for the role in the spirit of women supporting women at all levels.


Dr Carole Thomas - Sharing insights from an Athena SWAN Gold Institution: 14 December

Friday, 30 November 2018

Dr Carole Thomas leads the ‘Women in Science’ agenda at the John Innes Centre (JIC) and played an instrumental role in JIC being the first institution in the UK to receive a Gold Athena SWAN Award in 2017. ECU is pleased to be hosting the Western Australian leg of Dr Thomas’ Australian tour as she shares her Athena SWAN experiences with SAGE members nationwide.

Women in Elite Sport Panel - Reflecting on the past and perspectives on the future: 3 December 2018

Tuesday, 06 November 2018

It isn’t every day you get to ask questions and hear from some of the top women in sport. Join us as we bring together several successful women that work in elite sport or have walked the path of being an elite athlete themselves.

Development Hub

The Athena SWAN initiative recognises good workplace practices which provide conducive environments for gender diversity in STEMM within the higher education and research sectors.

Here are some professional development opportunities that may allow you to grow and develop your career, acknowledging the importance of diversity at work for everyone.


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