About Gender Equity
In 1881 the University of Adelaide was the first Australian university to admit women to academic courses.
Over its history, the University 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),
- the first Australian women to receive a doctorate in music, Ruby Davy (B.Mus., 1907; D.Mus., 1918), and
- the University was also the first to elect a woman to a University Council, Helen Mayo (MBBS, 1902).
For more achievements and important milestones see our gender equity and diversity timeline.
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 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.
Gender Equity Initiatives
University of Adelaide Equal Opportunity Policy
The University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Through the Equal Opportunity Policy the University seeks to promote the principles of equal opportunity; equity, fairness and social justice and to acting in accordance with relevant legislation.
SAGE Athena SWAN
The university was accredited the SAGE Athena Swan Bronze Status in 2020 under the national program delivered by SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity), promoting equity and gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
This is a national program promoting gender equity and gender diversity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM), run by the Australian Academy of Science in partnership with the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE).
The Dornwell Framework
Adelaide Women Leadership Development Program
Adelaide Women Leadership Development Program recognises that women are under-represented in senior roles in higher education.
It 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 every second year for both academic and professional staff.
Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender
The Fay Gale Centre develops, promotes and expands existing research excellence in the field of Gender within the University of Adelaide, and builds on the University's commitment to promote social justice, equality and diversity in the community and its own workplace.
Women's Professional Development Network
The Women’s Professional Development Network was established in 1995 as a volunteer network to support women in their professional development. It is a network run by professional staff women, for professional staff women.
The WPDN is a designed to support the professional and personal development of professional staff women employed by the University through activities that have been shown to promote leadership, personal job satisfaction, positive work attitude and career advancement. Please see the WPDN website for details of how you can become involved.
Academic Women's Forum
The 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, its activities, its resources, and news that may be of interest to academic women.
Gender Equity and Diversity in Research
The university is committed to supporting female academics to enhance and promote their careers.
University resources and programs to support academic women are promoted each year, further information can be found on the Research Services website Gender Equity and Diversity in Research.
Staff Gender Equity committee
The Staff Gender Equity Committee (SGE) 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 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. A copy of the report is available - University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2021-2022.
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.
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2020-2021
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2019-2020
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2018-2019
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2017-2018
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2016-2017
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2015-2016
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2014-2015
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2013-2014
- University of Adelaide WGEA Report 2012-2013