Joint Sector Position Statement on Gender Equity

Preserving gender equity as a higher education priority during and after COVID-19.

UNSW is proud to be one of the first to join a growing list of Australian universities and high profile sector partners in signing a Joint Sector Position Statement, preserving gender equity as a higher education priority during and after COVID-19.

The Statement

As participating institutions, we acknowledge the gendered effects of COVID-19 and
commit to:

  1. Actively seek equal representation of women in COVID-19 response planning and decision-making as per the recommendations of the United Nations.
  2.  Formally monitor and report on gender equity impacts of COVID-19 related decision making (including compounding intersectional factors) within our own institutions and collaborate with other universities and sector partners to address emerging issues.
  3. Continue our participation in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Athena SWAN initiative (as relevant).
  4. Maintain gender equity and diversity programs and Key Performance Indicator for gender equity and diversity where they currently exist.
  5. Preserve the gender equity progress which has been made to date and into which has been invested significant time, effort and resourcing over many years, by maintaining:
    • women’s representation at senior academic levels D and E
    • women’s representation at senior professional staff levels 10+
    • support for the progression of women as students, higher degree researchers, and early-mid career researchers
    • support for gender equity for those studying and working in ‘nontraditional’ disciplines such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine.

'Preserving Gender Equity as a Higher Education Priority During and After COVID-19’ is a joint sector position statement prepared by an Advisory Group of senior equity practitioners from Australian universities. Both the Advisory Group and the Statement consider the term ‘woman’ to include women in all their diversity. We recognise that gender is not binary and we actively advocate for those who are transgender, gender fluid or non-binary.

Participating Institutions and Sector Partners (Updated 16.06.20)

Australian Universities - New South Wales

  • Charles Sturt University
  • Macquarie University
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Sydney. (Ranked globally 2nd overall in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020)
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Wollongong. (Ranked globally 5th in Reduced Inequalities in Times Higher Education Impact Ranking 2020)
  • Western Sydney University (Ranked globally 2nd in Gender Equality, 3rd in Reduced Inequalities,and 3nd overall in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 202)


  • La Trobe University (Ranked globally 1st in Gender Equality and 4th overall in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020)
  • University of Melbourne

Western Australia

  • Curtin University 

Sector Partners

  • Australian Academy of Science
  • Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering
  • Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA)
  • Elizabeth Broderick & Co.; Elizabeth Broderick, Founder,
  • Male Champions of Change
  • National Committee for Women in Engineering
  • Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE)

The original proposal and briefing paper can be found here: