The Universities Australia Executive Women group (UAEW) was established in 1994 (formally Australian Colloquium for Senior Women Executives in Higher Education). UAEW conducts gender equality research, provides insights to the issues/challenges facing executive women, hosts workshop/s each year for executive women and creates opportunities for networking.

UAEW timeline (PDF 151.5KB).

What is the purpose of the group?

The goal of the UAEW is to address issues relating to gender diversity in senior university positions. 

UAEW Action Plan (PDF 195KB)

Members and Membership 

Co-Chair: Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Victoria University

Co-Chair: Professor Marcia Devlin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Quality), Federation University

Co-Chair: Professor Jennelle Kyd, Adjunct Professor, Swinburne University of Technology

Universities Australia Overseer: Catriona Jackson

There are three tiers of membership. 

  1. Supporter/Follower Membership
  2. Aspiring Female Leader Membership
  3. Full Membership

Supporter/Follower Membership

Supporters/Followers receive email notifications of the latest UAEW actions, events and research. They can be male or female, and working in or out of Higher Education (anyone!). You can sign up for the supporter/follower membership by emailing.

Aspiring Female Leader Membership

Aspiring female leader members work in Higher Education in professional or academic roles, and are in a leadership position.

Full Membership 

Full members are women who provide leadership and strategy for a substantive university portfolio. Full members are welcomed/encouraged to attend any UAEW meetings and workshops, contribute ideas/research and champion UAEW initiatives at their university.

To sign up for any of the above memberships, please complete the application form (DOCX 25.2KB) and email to: uaew@universitiesaustralia.edu.au


UAEW Mentorship/Sponsorship Program

The Universities Australia Executive Women group is calling on senior male or female university executives (mentors), or senior female university executives (mentees) to participate in the UAEW

What is the purpose of the program?

Many successful senior executives attribute their achievements to the support, guidance and/or advocacy of a number of both mentors and sponsors. This program provides female university executives one avenue to form these relationships.

What is sponsorship?

Occasionally, if a senior executive is especially impressed by a mentee, employee, colleague etc., and in a position to do so, they may choose to advocate on their behalf.

In this program, the mentor/mentee relationship may naturally progress to a sponsor/protégé relationship; however, there is no obligation for this to occur.

How does the program work?

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the attached form. Based on your development areas or expertise, UAEW will identify a potential mentor or mentee.

UAEW will let you know about a possible match. Only if both participants agree, we will then pass the mentor’s contact details to the mentee.

From there, it will be up to the mentee to initiate and maintain contact.

How to apply

Please complete the registration form (PDF 406.8KB) and email to uaew@universitiesaustralia.edu.au

For further information, please contact Alison Jackson (UAEW Project Officer) on 03 92144902.


WomenCount: Australian Universtities 2016 

WomenCount: Australian Universities 2016 reports on the participation of women in the most senior leadership roles in Universities Australia’s members in a snapshot taken in September 2016. The roles considered in the report include Chancellors, Deputy Chancellors, university councils, Chairs of key governing body committees, Vice-Chancellors and their executive teams, Chairs of academic boards and heads of faculties.

The report, sponsored by Perrett Laver and launched by Universities Australia at the March 2017 Higher Education Conference, shows that universities, individually and collectively, are taking action to increase women’s leadership in senior roles. There is progress to celebrate in some areas but work is continuing across a number of priorities.

Click here  (PDF 1.1MB) for the full report.

Contact Us 

E: uaew@universitiesaustralia.edu.au

T: +61 3 9214 4902 (Alison Jackson – Project Officer for UAEW)

UAEW Related outputs


Strachan, G., Peetz, D., Whitehouse, G., Bailey, J., Broadbent, K., May, R., Troup, C. & Nesic, M. (2016). Women, careers and universities: Where to from here? Centre for Work, Orginisation and Wellbeing, Griffith University, Brisbane.

Strachan, G., Troup, C., Peetz, D., Whitehouse, G., Broadbent, K., & Bailey, J. (2012). Work and careers in Australian universities: Report on employee survey. Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, Griffith University.

Devries, J. (2011). Mentoring for change. Melbourne: Universities Australia Executive Women (UAEW) and LH Martin Institute.

Diezmann, C. and Grieshaber, S. (2009) “Understanding the Achievements and Aspirations of New Women Professors”: A Report to Universities Australia, Centre for Learning Innovation, Faculty of Education, QUT.

Dever, M. (2008) “Gender Differences in Early Post-PhD Employment in Australian Universities: The Influence of the PhD Experience on Women’s Careers”, Report Prepared for Universities Australia, The Social Research Centre, University of Queensland.

Journal Articles

Strachan, G., Bailey, J., Wallace, M., & Troup, C. (2013). Gender equity in professional and general staff in Australian universities: the contemporary picture. Labour & Industry: a journal of the social and economic relations of work, 23(3), 215-230.

Broadbent, K., Troup, C., & Strachan, G. (2013). Research staff in Australian universities: Is there a career path? Labour and Industry, 23(3): 276-295.

Farrelly, B. &Whitehouse, G. (2013). Equality enabling parental leave: Prevalence and distribution in Australian universities. Labour and Industry, 23(2), 245-257. 

May, R., Peetz, D. & Strachan, G. (2013). The casual academic workforce and labour market segmentation in Australia. Labour and Industry, 23(3): 258-275. 

May, R., Strachan, G. & Peetz, D. (2013). Workforce development and renewal in Australian universities and the management of casual academic staff. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 10(3): 1-26.  

Bell, S. (2007). Action plans for university executive women. Frontline, 15, 17.

Conference Papers 

Peetz, D., Strachan, G., & Troup, C. (2014). Discipline, Change and Gender in the Academic Workforce. Paper presented to the 28th Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) conference, Melbourne, February.

Whitehouse, G. & Nesic, M. (2014). Gender and career progression in academia: assessing equity and diversity policy directions in Australian universities. Paper presented to the Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 28 Sept – 1 Oct, University of Sydney.

Diezmann, C., & Grieshaber, S. (2010). Gender equity in the professoriate: A cohort study of new women professors in Australia. Research and development in higher education: Reshaping higher education, 33, 223-234.

Diezmann, C., & Grieshaber, S. (2010). The Australian story: catalysts and inhibitors in the achievement of new women professors. In Howard, Sarah (Ed.) AARE 2010 Conference Proceedings, AARE Inc, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-17.

Winchester, H., Chesterman, C., Lorenzo, S., & Browning, L. (2005). The Great Barrier myth: an investigation of promotions policy and practice in Australian universities. Paper presented at the National Colloquium of Senior Women Executives in Higher Education, Canberra, Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC).

PhD Theses

Farrelly, B. (2014). Negotiating career progression and parenthood: family-adaptiveness in an Australian university, PhD thesis, The University of Queensland.

May, R. (2014). An Investigation of the Casualisation of Academic Work in Australia, PhD thesis, Griffith University.