SAGE at Sydney

Creating opportunities for all
The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program works to change policies and practices at the University of Sydney to build a more inclusive environment for our staff and students.

SAGE is a ground-breaking initiative originally committed to promoting gender equity and diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Since launching SAGE at the University of Sydney in 2016, the program has evolved beyond its focus on gender and STEMM to address not only the under-representation of women but all diverse groups in our community.

Gender equity and diversity aren’t just a matter of social justice; they’re also vital for enhancing Australia’s global competitiveness in research and development. Championing equitable opportunities and outcomes for all genders and diverse voices is essential to harness the full potential of all perspectives, ideas, and capabilities.  

Through the SAGE program, we take an evidence-based approach to address inequity by finding ways to change policies and practices to build a more inclusive environment.

We want to make sure that everyone can reach their educational and career goals by identifying and removing barriers that prevent this. By promoting diversity and inclusion, we aim to create an environment that fosters innovation, continuous improvement, and excellence.

What we do

SAGE involves staff and students who drive cultural change by:

  • Undertaking data analysis to identify systemic barriers and addressing them with rigorous and meaningful actions.

  • Mobilising leaders and staff to engage the University community in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. 

  • Challenging the assumptions about what the ‘problem’ is and how to solve it.

  • Forming a network of change agents to enable progress toward a diverse and inclusive eco-system.  


  • Bronze Award: the University achieved the Bronze Institutional Athena Swan Award in 2019, a significant milestone recognising our commitment to addressing inequality.
  • Increased representation: the program has contributed to a rise of women in senior leadership positions and a decrease in the gender pay gap.
  • Career development: the program has facilitated improvements in policies and procedures for the recruitment and promotion of diverse groups, helping individuals reach their goals.
  • Greater flexibility: our members have led improvements in parental leave and flexible working arrangements, including the relaunch of the 2019 Childcare Strategy.

Plans for the future

  • Silver and Gold Awards: the SAGE team is working towards applying for the Silver Athena Swan Awards in 2025, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to advancing our Gender, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion agenda.

  • Sydney 2032 Strategy: we are exploring new avenues to support the broader University of Sydney strategy which identifies diversity and inclusion as a key pillar. 

By championing gender equity and inclusion, we’re not only shaping the present but also laying the foundation for a more diverse and innovative landscape at the University of Sydney.