SAGE endorsement for SAHMRI’s equity initiatives

23 Sep 2019
SAGE endorsement for SAHMRI’s equity initiatives

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute is proud to be recognised for its commitment to diversity and inclusivity by receiving an Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award under the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) accreditation program.

Deputy Director, Professor Maria Makrides, says this honour acknowledges SAHMRI is on the right path towards meaningful and demonstrable change.

“Equity and diversity have been core values since SAHMRI’s inception a decade ago,” she said.

“SAHMRI boasts so many inspiring women making important contributions across all parts of the organisation.

“As a community, we’ve committed to actively encouraging career progression for women, building their visibility and representation and celebrating their achievements.”

SAHMRI’s Executive Director, Professor Steve Wesselingh say that while gender equity is central to the Bronze Award, SAHMRI’s dedication to diversity spans all backgrounds and cultures.

“Our aim is for everyone at SAHMRI to feel comfortable, to get the best out of themselves and bring the best out of the people around them,” Professor Wesselingh said.

“Initiatives like our flexible working arrangements and our paid partner leave promote healthy work-life balance which we know benefits SAHMRI as a whole.”

SAGE was established in 2015 as a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (AATE).

AATE President, Professor Hugh Bradlow, says he’s inspired to see SAHMRI as one of 13 organisations rewarded in the second round of SAGE accreditations.

“Diversity is not an optional extra,” he said.

“Workplaces that reflect the wider community are both ethical and effective workplaces, tapping into the skills of their entire team.”

Building on the success of the UK Athena SWAN Charter, SAGE is adapting its accreditation framework for use in Australian in the STEMM Higher Education and Research sector.

Athena SWAN is a successful enabling mechanism for gender equity, providing a framework in which to plan and undertake concrete work to create structural and cultural change for gender equality. It addresses system and structural barriers as well as cultural barriers that hinder participation and advancement of women and minority groups in organisations.