Women in Science

How the Faculty of Science is working to progress gender equity.

We’re proud of the steps we’ve already made towards gender equity in the Faculty. But we recognise that there’s still much to do.

With leadership from our Associate Dean (Diversity, Inclusion and Women in Science), Dr Georgina Such, we have ambitious goals and well-resourced strategic initiatives underway, including a Women in STEM strategic plan to be launched in 2021.

Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Athena SWAN Bronze Award logoIn 2020, the University of Melbourne was awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Award for our commitment to advancing gender equity and promoting inclusiveness in science.

The award recognises our ongoing efforts to improve gender diversity, our intention to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions, and our promotion of an inclusive culture for women.

Women in Science Network

This very active network works to foster a supportive environment for female professional and academic staff within the Faculty, including:

  • providing professional development
  • supporting retention of staff
  • increasing female representation, particularly at senior levels.

Membership is open to all Faculty of Science staff members who identify as female, with some activities open to all staff regardless of gender.

Four female and one male panellists sit on a stage, next to a 'Science at Melbourne' banner, in front of a full audience.
A Women in Science Network careers seminar for Faculty of Science Staff, with panellists including University of Melbourne leaders and Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

Professional development events and seminars

The Women in Science Network runs events for and featuring inspiring women throughout the year. Keep an eye on the Faculty of Science events calendar for details.

Mentoring for women

The Faculty of Science Mentoring Program provides mentoring for academic (levels B or C, in fixed-term and continuing roles) and professional staff. More senior colleagues provide mentoring over a 12-month period to support career progression.

The School of Mathematics and Statistics also offers the MS Walkers informal mentoring program.

Women-only scholarships and roles

We fund scholarships for female masters students and have recruited staff to women-only continuing academic roles in areas where women are under-represented.

Parental leave support for academics

We understand that career interruptions from having and raising children can have negative effects on the career progression of academics.

To reduce the impact of these interruptions, primary carers can apply to access funding of up to $50,000 over two years to support continuity of research during and after paid parental leave.

The funding can be used for technical or research support staff, child care, or other expenses to support career continuity.

Additionally, the School of Mathematics and Statistics offers a travel support scheme for staff with child-care responsibilities.

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