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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

Sophie Brouwer

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

Sophie Brouwer

Alecka Miles

ECU Athena SWAN Advancement Scheme Award recipient Alecka Miles talks about her new role as Course Coordinator for the Master of Paramedic Practitioner and returning back to work after parental breaks.

Alecka Miles

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 in the top 4% of universities in the world for Gender Equality in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings in 2020. 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.


Women in STEM Scholarship recipients

ECU Women in STEM Scholarship winners

Thursday, 29 October 2020

On 14 October 2020, ECU's scholarship ceremony celebrated the talent and diversity of ECU students, announcing the 2020 Women in STEM scholarship recipients.

Athena SWAN Advancement Scheme Winners 2020

2020 Edith Cowan Athena SWAN Advancement Scheme

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

ECU continues to recognise the talent and achievement of all staff at the Edith Cowan Athena SWAN Advancement Scheme Awards Ceremony 2020

Professor Caroline Finch AO

ECU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) recognised for career achievements as part of the ‘Top 20’ honour list produced by former college

Tuesday, 01 September 2020

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Caroline Finch AO, has been recognised in the Star of the Sea ‘Top 20’ Alumnae



CEDA Women in Leadership Series - the 'isms' of diversity

Committee for Economic Development of Australia - Women in Leadership Series

Valuing and respecting diversity of people (ages, cultural, gender and ability) creates an inclusive workplace which in return maximises and strengthens organisations. There is a growing recognition that leaders must drive inclusive behaviour, however it’s time to see results.

At this event we explore research and leading thinking on how we can design organisation-wide gender strategies, shift attitudes and behaviours, and engage others to effect real change.


Managing Home-Work Challenges

Wednesday 4 November 2020, Microsoft Teams Event.

With ARC Laureate Fellows Sharon Parker, Lisa Kewley and Jolanda Jetten. More details coming soon.

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