The University of Adelaide believes strongly in equal opportunity for women, and has a long history of championing the rights of women in higher education. In 1881 it was the first Australian university, and only the second in the world, to admit women to academic courses.
Over its history, the University of Adelaide has been responsible for many important milestones in Australia’s social reform, including the University’s first female graduate – Edith Emily Dornwell (BSc., 1885), Australia’s first female surgeon, Laura Fowler (MB, 1891), and the first Australian women to receive a doctorate in music, Ruby Davy (B.Mus., 1907; D.Mus., 1918). The University was also the first to elect a woman to a University Council, Helen Mayo (MBBS, 1902).
In more recent years the University has made gender equity a key focus area, specifically incorporating gender targets as part of the new Strategic Plan, Beacon of Enlightenment, which sets out the vision for the University over the next decade, as the 150th anniversary approaches in 2024.
The University of Adelaide is committed to improving the gender equity of its senior leadership, and has a number of initiatives, activities and groups that are helping work towards this goal. Current areas of focus for the University include:
- The University of Adelaide Equal Opportunity Policy
The University of Adelaide is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
- The Dornwell Framework
The Dornwell Framework is the University of Adelaide's gender equity strategy for staff.
- Adelaide Women Leadership Development Program
Recognises that women are under-represented in senior roles in higher education, and provides targeted development activities for women identified as having the aspirations and ability to progress into senior leadership and decision making positions in the University. The program is run for both academic and professional staff and is in its second year in 2014.
- Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender
The mandate is to develop, promote and expand the existing substantive concentration of research excellence in the field of gender within the University of Adelaide, and to build on the University's commitment to promote social justice, equality and diversity in the community and its own workplace.
- Women's Professional Development Network (WPDN)
Is a unique and dynamic 'grassroots' network designed to support the professional and personal development of women employed by The University of Adelaide through activities that have been shown to promote leadership, personal job satisfaction, positive work attitude and career advancement.
- Academic Women's Forum (AWF)
Is a group of academic women who meet twice a year to share information, ideas, and make contacts across the university. Visit the AWF website to find further information about the AWF and its activities and includes information about the AWF, its resources and news that may be of interest to academic women.
- Gender, Equity and Diversity (GED) Committee
Is a sub-committee of the Vice-Chancellor's Committee that was formed in October 1999 and commenced meeting in March 2000. It has met regularly since that time, taking a proactive and strategic role in progressing the equity and diversity agenda in the University.
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) reporting
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) is an Australian Government statutory agency charged with promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces. The agency is also responsible for administering the Workplace Gender Equality Act. More information about the agency and the Act can be found on the WGEA website.
The University of Adelaide lodged its annual public report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Consequntly, the WGEA has advised of the University's compliance with the Act. A copy of the report is available - University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2016-2017
As employees of the University of Adelaide you may make comments on the report to: the Human Resources Service Centre in the first instance; or the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Please refer to the Agency’s guidelines.