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Gender equality

Gender equality

As the only university in Australia named after a woman, Edith Dircksey Cowan, at ECU we are deeply passionate and committed to achieving gender equality as an educator and employer. We believe universities have a crucial role in creating a relevant and responsive workforce which is able to meet, if not subvert, global challenges by removing the gender barriers faced by aspiring researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs. Not only does this recognise basic human rights, it improves our ability to develop organisational sustainability and national and global economic growth.

The ECU Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 World Ready sets the direction and identifies ECU’s strong commitment to promoting equality, diversity, and social responsibility as a key strategic priority which we are implementing through our ECU Gender Equality Strategy 2019-2021. This Strategy captures our overall vision for gender equality and outlines our goals, actions and indicators of success.

Athena SWAN

As one of the first 15 Australian institutions to receive an inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award, ECU is proactively redressing gender inequalities and improving education and opportunities for women, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).

Development hub

At ECU, we pride ourselves on being inclusive, flexible and relevant to the real world. We celebrate the gender diversity and talent of ECU staff by offering dedicated support schemes to remove obstacles and enable career development and progression.

Our stories

Dr Charn Nang

Find out more about Charn and her career journey as an academic in the speech pathology disipline.

Dr Charn Nang

Dr Carolyn McIntrye

Dr Carolyn McIntyre tells her story of balancing a career in research with a young family.

Dr Carolyn McIntyre

Sophie Brouwer

Read about Sophie's story as a staff member and student at ECU, aspiring to become a teacher in STEMM.

Sophie Brouwer

WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

ECU has achieved the Citation as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the fourth consecutive year. The citation recognises our long-standing commitment to creating an inclusive culture in which female staff participate equally at all levels.

Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings

ECU has been ranked sixth in the world for Gender Equality in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings in 2019. As a socially responsible organisation, we are exemplars in our community for sustainable practices. We are recognised for our work to redress inequalities through our commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


ECU provides a number of gender equality related resources and information to inform staff and students at the University.


International Women's Day Panel Members

Edith Cowan Memorial Lecture 2020 – ‘Each for Equal’

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

ECU's twelfth annual lecture to mark International Women's Day commenced with an address from the Honourable Simone McGurk MLA, Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence and Community Services followed by a panel on the relationships between gender equality, climate justice and sustainable development.

Professor Caroline Finch AO

ECU Professor addresses the under-representation of women in science in higher education

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

ECU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice-President, Professor Caroline Finch AO was invited as a guest speaker to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to discuss gender equity in higher education.

Women in Leadership

Healthcare Sector Female Leader’s Scholarship

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Women & Leadership Australia is offering scholarships for women working in the health and medicine sector. The initiative is providing junior through to executive managers with scholarships to support their growth and development. The scholarships assist with participation in one of three flagship development programs. The programs provide highly collaborative learning environments uniquely tailored to the needs of female leaders. Find out more and register your interest prior to Friday, 20 March 2020.



Women in Research Workshop

You are invited to a workshop on Thursday, 5 December 2019, designed to help Australian women in their research careers. The workshop will be facilitated by Laureate Fellow, Sharon Parker, Director of The Centre of Transformative Work Design, and will feature the resources she and her team have developed for the website Women in Research.


Catalysing Gender Equity 2020

Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 - February 20 - February 21

The Australian Academy of Science, in collaboration with Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), invites you to join us at Catalysing Gender Equity 2020, a two-day outcome-driven conference guided by the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.


2020 Edith Cowan Memorial Lecture celebrating International Women's Day

6 March 2020, ECU Joondalup Pines, Perth, Western Australia

Join ECU for their annual Edith Cowan Memorial Lecture celebrating International Women’s Day, as a panel of experts discuss the relationships between gender equality, climate justice and sustainable development. ECU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Partnerships) Professor Cobie Rudd will moderate the panel discussion, as we consider what action is needed to create greater equality possibilities.

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