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Defence commitment to gender equity in STEM recognised

21 February 2020
Media Release
Defence has been recognised for its significant work improving gender equity with the Athena Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) Institutional Bronze Award.

Defence has been recognised for its significant work improving gender equity with the Athena Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) Institutional Bronze Award.

The Athena SWAN Award, presented to the Defence Science and Technology Group at the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Awards, acknowledges institutional commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and medicine in higher education and research.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, commended Defence for its dedication to developing a truly inclusive and equitable workplace.

“Addressing gender equity and diversity strengthens an organisation’s intellectual capital, and its capacity for problem-solving and innovation,” Minister Reynolds said.

“This means better outcomes for people and business, and the long-term success of an organisation.

“It is not only the right thing for us to do in Defence – it is the smart thing for us to do.

“This award demonstrates the priority and value Defence places on gender and talent diversity in STEM disciplines, and our commitment to ensuring that this is what drives us as we continue to grow our impressive STEM workforce.”

The Athena SWAN Awards are an initiative under the SAGE program, a nationwide equity and diversity evaluation and accreditation program which aims to promote equity and diversity in STEM.

The program is a partnership with the Australian Academy of Science and Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

The Bronze-level certification recognises that an institution has demonstrated a good understanding of the current status of gender equity and is well-positioned to address inequities.

Currently, 13 institutions across Australia have received Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Awards as part of the SAGE initiative.

Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro, was a member of the initial team that established the SAGE accreditation process in Australia and has led the submission of the SAGE application by Defence Science and Technology Group.

Defence’s commitment to building diversity in STEM aligns with Defence’s Workforce Strategic Vision that encourages a systematic approach to increasing depth and diversity of the talent pool.

More information on Moving Towards a High-Tech Future for Defence: Workforce Strategic Vision underpinned by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics 2019-2030 is available here.


Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927

Kenny Ang (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 111 470

Defence Media: (02) 6127 1999,