Universities Australia Executive Women (UAEW) Group 2014 Program
The October AGM saw the election of three new Chairs to oversee the UAEW Group 2014 program of activities - Dr Muyesser Durer (CSU), Professor Marea Nicholson (ACU) and Professor Glenda Strachan (Griffith). The meeting farewelled Professor Gail Whiteford, retiring from Macquarie University, and thanked her for her service as Co-Chair during 2012 and 2013. Professor Anne Cummins agreed to continue her involvement with the planning group in an ex-officio capacity.
The focus by the UAEW Group during 2014 will be:
- Continuing the successful workshop program and committing to three workshops throughout the year
- Giving priority to two topics of interest: (a) mentoring for professional and academic staff (b) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women (staff and students)
- Reporting to Universities Australia as the funding period concludes at the end of 2014
- Producing a report on Gender Equity at Australian Universities headed by Professor Glenda Strachan and due in the first half of 2014
Preparations for the first workshop Meaningful Mentoring for Career Growth, planned for May, are now underway with date and full program to be confirmed early next year. The Chairs are canvassing Equity and HR contacts to ensure that workshops 2 and 3 best meet the needs of women in the sector.
The 2013 workshop program was again well attended and received excellent evaluations. Topics covered in 2013 were:
- Understand and Manage Change in Higher Education
- Planning and Performance
- High Octane Communications
Strategy for Women: 2011 - 2014
Universities Australia is committed to fully utilising the skills and capabilities of all members of its workforce and to continue to address the challenges facing women who enter and contribute to higher education. It will support ongoing efforts by its members to bring about employment equity and an inclusive culture, building on the equity achievements of past years. The Strategy sets the following goals and targets:
- Encourage universities to continue to take responsibility for ensuring equitable work practices and to incorporate equity strategies and targets in their strategic planning, with unambiguous leadership by the Vice-Chancellors.
- Increase the recognition of the contributions of women to the productivity and advancement of Australia's universities (FASTS recommends a stronger business case linking diversity and innovation).
- Improve representation of women in Higher Education at all levels to more strongly reflect representation in society, including Indigenous women.
- Increase the proportion of women in senior leadership positions particularly at the Vice-Chancellor level, and including Deans, Directors and Senior Managers and in a wider range of portfolios and discipline groupings.
- Identify women in middle management and mentor them as the future senior leaders in Higher Education (Nature, June 2010, p1107).
- Test the effectiveness of interventions at critical points in women's careers.
- Showcase senior executive women via media profiling at strategic points throughout the course of the plan.
Action Plan for Women Employed in Australian Universities
Universities Australia supports ongoing effort across the sector to bring about improved employment equity and an inclusive culture. The secretariat continues to work actively with the Universities Australia Executive Women senior leadership group to move towards the priority goals of the AVCC Action Plan for Women Employed in Australian Universities:
- to continue to encourage all universities to integrate equity strategies and performance indicators into their institutional plans and to support the priorities in this Plan
- to improve significantly the representation of women in senior roles by encouraging equity initiatives in critical areas
- to monitor the patterns of entry of women into academia and respond to barriers to sustained entry
- to improve the monitoring of gender equity in workforce data and access to information and
- to identify, and engage universities with, critical matters through research on gender equity issues and dissemination of good practice.
Gender Differences in Early Post‐PhD Employment in Australian Universities
Based on the second Action Plan, Universities Australia Executive Women commissioned The University of Queensland Social Research Centre to investigate gender differences in early post PhD employment in Australian universities, and the influence of PhD context and family on women's academic careers. The results of this investigation aim to clarify implications for women's prospects for advancement.
DEEWR's Staff dataset provides a breakdown of women employed in Australia's universities by institution, level and type of appointment, and highest qualification held. Salaries data is available from a variety of sources, including university annual reports, the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association and the National Tertiary Education Union.
Women in Research discussion paper (November 2005)
How Far Have We Come? Gender Disparities in the Australian Higher Education System - Federal Parliamentary Library Issues Paper (June 2003)