2022 Progress towards gender equality and diversity

The CoS Diverse and Equitable Hiring and Workforce Development Procedure (PDF, 292KB) states the CoS goal to balance the proportion of women at all levels in all staffing categories to parity by 2030 and to make significant headway in raising awareness of diversity in hiring more broadly. It defines ‘Parity’ as having 40-60% of staff identifying as women in a staffing category. All Schools have made significant progress towards this goal in the past five years. 

RSB has sought to improve the gender balance among academic staff through 2 rounds of targeted recruitments, resulting in 7 of 8 recent appointments identifying as women. This has led to RSB achieving gender parity across academic staff and all staff combined. However, the proportion of women in Level E positions remains low (23%, an issue which is being addressed actively through ongoing mentoring). Cultural diversity in RSB is high, with 54% of staff being born overseas.  That said, there is room for increased cultural diversity among academic staff.

At RSAA, all continuing faculty hires in the last few years have been done advertising two positions, with at least one reserved to individuals identifying as women. The biggest step change in gender equity within the RSAA has been in the AITC, which has seen the fraction of women in the technical/professional staff increase from 5% to 34% in the past year alone thanks to a deliberate women-only hiring strategy. Under this strategy RSAA advertised ten women-only positions last year – six of which have been filled. The recent demographic survey done at RSAA has highlighted significant cultural and linguistic diversity across the School. RSAA also has one of the highest rates across the University of staff identifying as LGBTQIA+. More than 80% of senior academics have completed Unconscious Bias Training and about 30% of staff and students have attended on-site training organized by Mental Health First Aid Australia. To address the broader diversity, RSAA has started an Indigenous apprenticeship program to attract and support indigenous staff and students and currently hosts 2 Indigenous HDR students.

At MSI, over the past 5 years, tenure-track and ongoing academic women* appointments have markedly increased and reached nearly 50%. This success has been achieved partly thanks to advertisements aimed at “women only applicants”. The generous donations to MSI made by Tim and Margaret Bourke have allowed the School to support women academics and students. Research support has been provided in the manner of travel, fractional appointments, and top-up scholarships. 6.4% of MSI staff identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community (the percentage among the Australian population is 3-4%  [2018 Census data]). Nearly 60% of MSI staff members were born overseas, and more than 66% have caring responsibilities.

RSC has an academic recruitment round in full swing.  The School hopes to make up to five continuing appointments, with a commitment that at least 50% will be folk who identify as women.  It paid particular attention to the language used in the advertising material to ensure that a diverse pool of candidates was attracted. The School will also offer Rita Cornforth Fellowships, an RSC initiative targeted at hiring women academics, to successful Level B-D appointees. 

At RSPhys, ongoing academic women* appointments have gone from 6% to 25%, which is now on par with their long term gender ratio for HDR scholars.  Around 60% of ongoing academic staff are from cultural groups where English is not the primary language.  The RSPhys international HDR cohort represents between 20-30 countries, depending on the year, and between 40-50% of the total HDR cohort. The School has a very active Women* in Physics group, and an excellent family room with breastfeeding and menstrual care facilities.  

CPAS values the parity of academics identifying as male and female that it has achieved and maintained over the past 5 years.  We have now turned our attention to other forms of diversity including representing diversity of culture of origin and linguistic diversity; in 2023, 40% of our academic staff were born outside of Australia and represent 5 different regions of the world.

RSES has achieved parity for professional staff, and for early career academics. Senior academics still predominantly identify as men, but all RSES continuing academics who identify as women have been promoted within the past three years, most to full professor. RSES appointed its first woman Director in 2020. 

FSES has used targeted recruitment and a career development activity to increase the number of staff that identify as women. Between 2015 and 2022 it has increased from 47 to 56% among the professional staff and from 22 to 38% among the on-going academic staff. In the same period the proportion of women academic staff at the levels D-E has progressed from 10 to 27%.

The CoS Services functional teams (Advancement, Business Development, Executive Office, Testing & Tagging, Finance, HR, International Relations & Partnerships, Marketing and Communications, Research Office, & Student Services) are close to achieving gender parity in professional staff positions, (approximately a 70-30% split) favouring staff who identify as female. Nearly 50% of the workforce identify as being born overseas (48.8%), and there appear to be few barriers to career progression with 44.8% of managers identifying as being born overseas.  The College Services equitable hiring strategy has a focus on creating an inclusive environment and providing opportunities for staff from diverse backgrounds.