Gender is one of the six focus areas in our Workplace Diversity Plan and one of six Employee Networks at Charles Sturt. Gender diversity is a complex focus area encompassing topics from gender pay equity, targets and quotas for underrepresented professions and leadership levels, removing gendered workplace discrimination, engaging, and educating people on gender equality issues and caring.

Gender Equity Champion

Our Gender Equity Champion, Pro-Vice Chancellor Learning and Teaching Janelle Wheat, advocates for and promotes Charles Sturt gender equity matters amongst university stakeholders to progress understanding of gender equity and to address the gender pay gap.

Janelle supports the university’s strategic objective of promoting a healthy, equitable and inclusive culture and initiatives within the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2023-2025, including the Athena Swan program.

Colour profile of Janelle Wheat who has long hair and is smiling.

Janelle Wheat, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Learning and Teaching, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

"I am passionate about supporting women to achieve their goals and to remove the barriers to their success. I believe that I can provide greater support and leadership for the promotion of gender equity matters in this role. Inclusivity and diversity are at the heart of the type of culture I respect and strive to achieve as PVC Learning and Teaching."

Gender Employee Network

The Gender Employee Network aims to provide a safe place for people to connect with one another and create dialogue around diversity, workplace inclusion and belonging at Charles Sturt.

The Gender Employee Network unites people who share an identity or lived experience, and those who support them or those who would like to learn more about their perspectives and experiences. It's also a forum to raise issues of importance, provide feedback and guide decisions around University priorities and initiatives that impact you. The next  online meeting will occur on Thursday 27th June at 11am.

If you have any questions please email or contact Carli Baker.

2024 meeting dates

27th June 11am  Meeting invitation

22nd August 11am  Meeting invitation

17th October 11am  Meeting invitation

12th December 11am  Meeting invitation

Charles Sturt women leading the way

This year on International Women's Day we acknowledged that while progress has been made, women still face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy.

Read more about Charles Sturt women who are leading the way in creating change and working towards gender equity by role modelling, breaking down barriers and supporting and advocating for others.

Information, resources and support

Gender equity is fundamental at Charles Sturt University. We aim to improve the working lives of our employees and achieve equality through policy, collaboration and gender equity focused initiatives.

  • Campus facilities

    Free period products

    Charles Sturt has partnered with Share the Dignity to provide vending machines for free sanitary products across our campuses. With the installation of a new machine on our Bathurst campus, we will have Share the Dignity machines in gender-neutral bathrooms on all main campuses:

    • Albury: Building 753
    • Bathurst: Learning Commons (yet to be installed)
    • Dubbo: Building 901
    • Orange: Building 1005
    • Port Macquarie: Building 802
    • Wagga Wagga: Library

    Carers rooms and support for breastfeeding

    Each of our campuses offers a carer's room which is available for parents, carers, and young children. These rooms offer spaces for breastfeeding, expressing milk, changing nappies and caring for your children, or as a quiet space while you are accompanied by young children.

    Charles Sturt is a family-friendly environment that supports the choice of staff who wish to breastfeed.

    View carer's room locations and learn more at Support for breastfeeding or view our Breastfeeding policy.

    Unisex and gender-neutral bathrooms

    As well as accessible bathrooms, each Charles Sturt campus has both unisex and gender-neutral bathrooms available so that all staff can feel comfortable using the facilities that best suit them.

    View campus maps and facilities at FM Central.

  • Flexible work

    Charles Sturt strives to create a fair and inclusive workplace including offering flexible work arrangements that help staff to balance their work and life commitments while meeting the operational needs of the University.

    Flexible, hybrid, or remote work arrangements work may be suitable for staff for a range of reasons, including for those with family responsibilities and to encourage gender diversity in our workforce.

    See Workplace flexibility to learn about our guiding principles around staff flexibility and explore what options may be available to you.

  • Leave

    In addition to standard leave entitlements, Charles Sturt provides leave entitlements to further support gender equity in the workplace:

    • An employee experiencing domestic violence or an employee who is supporting a member of their immediate family experiencing domestic violence may use up to 15 days of domestic violence leave per annum to access medical, legal and support services as necessary.

    See Leave - People and Culture for further information.

  • Athena Swan

    Athena Swan Bronze logo

    Athena Swan, administered by SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity) is the only internationally recognised framework for gender equity, diversity and inclusion. It is an evidence based, data-driven approach which allows us to benchmark our work in Equity Diversity and Inclusion against international standards.

    Charles Sturt was one of the first Australian universities to receive the prestigious Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award in December 2018.

    We are currently working towards Silver accreditation by identifying and addressing current barriers to attraction, retention and progression for staff through the Cygnet process.

    Using their Charles Sturt email address, staff and students can access resources including webinars, research articles, blog posts and other information through the SAGE website.

  • Leadership Development for Women

    Charles Sturt University's Leadership Development for Women (LDW) Program has been running for more than a decade.

    LDW provides many opportunities for women to advance their careers through training, networking, mentoring and scholarships. The program runs bi-annually with a conference held in the alternative year.

    Projects from previous years

    2019 Projects

    2017 Projects

  • Senior Women's Forum

    Open to women at Academic Levels D and E and Professional/General Staff Level 10+, the role of the Senior Women's Forum is to:

    • promote and advocate for cultural change within the University;
    • contribute to strategic planning, policy directions, and critical decision-making bodies;
    • provide networking opportunities between senior women internally and externally to the University;
    • support the professional development and advancement of women;
    • help to circulate relevant information; and
    • support the Leadership Development for Women Program to enhance the career development of women at Charles Sturt.

    The Senior Women's Forum Terms of Reference can be found here.

    For more information, please contact

  • Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) reports

    In accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, Charles Sturt University submits an annual report to WGEA to ensure compliance with the Act. Review the past reports below:

  • Events and recordings

    Bluestocking Week 2019

    Successes and Challenges of Female Academics

    The panel was moderated by Associate Professor Cate Thomas, and consisted of Carli Kulmar (Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences), Annabel Matheson (Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health) and Associate Professor Kogi Naidoo (Director Learning Academy, Division of Learning and Teaching).

    Bluestocking Week 2020

    Successes and Challenges of Female Academics in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) disciplines

    The discussion was moderated and guided by Jennifer Galloway. The panel consisted of Associate Professor Faye McMillan - Director of the Djirruwang Program, Professor Leslie Weston - Research Professor of Plant Biology, Associate Professor Lihong Zheng - Associate Professor in Computer Science, and Karen Brakell - Senior Engineer in Residence.

    Bluestocking Week 2021

    Successes and Challenges of Female Academics from diverse backgrounds

    Rylee Dionigi (SWF Co-Convenor) was moderator, joined by Professor Juanita Sherwood - Pro-Vice-Chancellor, First Nations Engagement, Dr Nicole Sugden - School of Psychology, Professor Suzanne McLaren - School of Psychology and Associate Professor Marta Hernandez-Jover - School of Agriculture, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences.

    Bluestocking Week 2022

    Successes and Challenges of Female Academics across Charles Sturt Faculties

    The discussion was moderated by Associate Professor Larissa Bamberry - Faculty of Business. The panel consisted of Associate Professor Linda Deravin - Faculty of Science and Health, Professor Wendy Bowles - Faculty of Arts and Education and Kylie Gumbleton - Faculty of Business, Justice, and Behavioural Sciences who shared their experiences of the realities, challenges and pressures of being female academics and the nature of academic work at Charles Sturt.

    Guest Speaker - Professor Jill Blackmore

    Dr Jill Blackmore AM FASSA is Alfred Deakin Professor in Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Australia.

    Her research interests include, from a feminist perspective, globalization, education policy and governance; international and intercultural education; educational restructuring, leadership and organisational change; spatial redesign and innovative pedagogies; teachers' and academics’ work. Prof. Blackmore has been on advisory committees, statutory authorities related to education and gender equity. She has provided policy advice to the OECD, governments, private and professional organisations and developed evaluation frameworks on a range of issues. At Deakin, Professor Blackmore has been in senior management as founding Director of a Strategic Research Centre and Chair of Academic Board involved in strategic planning and leadership capacity building.

    Violence Against Women in Regional and Rural Areas

    Seminar host by the Gender and Feminist Studies Network at Charles Sturt University in July 2021: "Violence Against Women in Regional and Rural Areas"

    Speakers include Arila Fleming; Tracey Willow; Lorraine Murphy; Jenny Rolfe and Kevin Jones.

    Intersectionality Webinar - Dr Cate Thomas & Dr Colleen Macmillan

    Join Dr Cate Thomas and Dr Colleen Macmillan to develop an understanding of intersectionality.

    Learn how to use an Intersectional lens in planning frameworks for recognition of strengths and challenges in diversity and community engagement to enhance equity and develop skills enable greater inclusion of diversity in practice.

    2021 Athena SWAN Dean's Lunch

    Professor Megan Smith hosted the 2021 Athena SWAN Dean's Lunch for staff in the Faculty of Science and Health with a focus on sharing 'My Career Journey'.

    With special guest speaker Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver and a panel of esteemed professional and academic staff including Jenny McIntyre, Jane Quinn, Linda Deravin, Ana Horta, Sarah Verdon, Maumita Bhattacharya and Marta Hernandez-Jover.

    2022 International Women's Day

    Dr Bomikazi Zeka (Associate Professor in Finance and Financial Planning at the University of Canberra) & Rebecca Glen (Founder of the Centre for Women's Economic Safety (CWES) feature in a conversational deep dive into gender biases impacting women’s economic security & wellbeing.

    The event is opened by Vice-Chancellor Professor Renee Leon. Co-sponsored by The University of Canberra.

  • Support and contact

    Contact the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team if you need support or have questions.

  • Menstruation and Menopause

    While menstruation and menopause are natural processes, they can have a range of symptoms that impact individuals in all aspects of their lives including work. There are also many conditions that can affect the severity of menstruation and menopause symptoms which can be extremely painful and debilitating. Charles Sturt has Special Leave provisions available for inability to perform work duties because of menstruation or menopause - see Enterprise Agreement 2022-25 .

    Links to external resources

    Australasian Menopause Society

    NSW Govt. Menopause Toolkit


    Menopause and work

    Why menopause is a workplace issue

    Conversation guide for managers

    Endometriosis in the workplace: Safe Work Australia