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Athena SWAN snapshot of ECU progress

Over the past 12 months, ECU has visibly made good progress towards achieving real change in equality through a range of opportunities and initiatives.

In December 2018, ECU was one of 11 universities and one of only 15 organisations nationally to achieve the inaugural Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Accreditation. As part of this Accreditation, ECU has undergone a rigorous two and a half year process which involved identifying the barriers to equality and devising practices, processes and actions to address them.

In 2019, ECU was ranked sixth in the world for Gender Equality Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. The THE University Impact Rankings show how the global higher education sector is contributing to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Gender Equity ranking indicator focuses on universities’ commitment to encouraging women to enter and succeed in academia and university study, and universities’ gender equality policies.

ECU has again achieved successful compliance with the national Workplace Gender Equality Act, and in February 2019, ECU continued to achieve a Citation as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the third consecutive year. The Citation reflects the University’s active commitment to gender equality and diversity, as well as the improvement of gender equity policies and practices as they relate to ECU staff and students. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve Chapman, continues to be a national Pay Equity Ambassador and the University is committed to achieving gender pay equity as provided for within our Remuneration and Reward policy.

In support of these outstanding achievements, listed below is a snapshot of a number of initiatives that have been delivered upon in the past 12 months at ECU, many of which feature in ECU’s Athena SWAN Bronze Action Plan:

  • All campuses have the Australian Breastfeeding Association 5-star rated Athena SWAN parenting rooms;
  • ECU has 91 dedicated Athena SWAN parent parking bays for staff and students with drop-off responsibilities;
  • ECU continues to celebrate the gender diversity and talent of ECU staff through the continuation of the dedicated support schemes; the Edith Cowan Athena SWAN Advancement Scheme and the ECU UniSuper Develoment Fund;
  • A suite of parenting resources to support staff who are welcoming a child into their family, and on their return to the workplace (including a working parents at ECU webpage);
  • An Athena SWAN Dashboard that provides metrics for ECU leaders to assist in decisions that impact on striving for gender balance and gender equity, including our Gender Pay Gap;
  • Flexible Working Arrangements workshops have been held for ECU Executive and managers to discuss how to further flexible working arrangements;
  • Focus groups discussing barriers and enablers to career progression and advancement have been held as part of the development of the STEMM Women’s Advancement Program; and
  • A Gender Pay Gap target has been endorsed by the University Executive, striving for +/- 3% gender pay gap within classification levels. Our current GPG for total remuneration is 15.0% (as at 31 March 2019).

Moving to the future, ECU will continue to work towards a range of measures being carried out through to 2022, including:

  • A commitment to improving female participation in STEMM disciplines;
  • Changes to staff recruitment practices to minimise gender and unconscious bias; and
  • Supporting career development and progression for those staff with family and caring responsibilities.

If you would like to give feedback, or be involved with any of the opportunities or initiatives above, please contact

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