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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 Michelle Ellis working with two women in a computer lab

Dr Michelle Ellis discusses inspiring high school students into STEMM areas and how being an Edith Cowan Athena SWAN Advancement Scheme recipient has assisted her work.

Dr Michelle Ellis

Ben Jones

Read about Ben and his reasons for taking time out to look after his baby boy.

Ben Jones

Mahbuba Rakhi

Rakhi is currently an engineering student and vice-president of the Women in Engineering at ECU.

Mahbuba Rakhi

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 third 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.


Group photo in front of Edith Cowan House

WA Women’s Hall of Fame finds a new home at ECU

Friday, 13 December 2019

Edith Cowan University (ECU) will host an ongoing exhibition of the WA Women’s Hall of Fame from 2020 after signing a Strategic Partnership Agreement.

CEDA Cobie Rudd presenting

CEDA Women in Leadership series 2019: Women in Leadership – Economics of Diversity and Inclusion

Tuesday, 03 December 2019

CEDA held their most recent event in the ‘Women in Leadership’ series for Western Australia, on 14 November 2019. The final event for the series was entitled 'Women in Leadership; economics of Diversity and Inclusion: Metrics and Measurements'.

Decadal Plan Champions

ECU has been recognised as a Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion

Tuesday, 03 December 2019

ECU has been recognised as a Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion by publicly aligning our gender equality journey and our gender equity activities with the six categories identified in the Decadal Plan.



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

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