Gender equity

Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation

Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation

In February 2020, it was announced that for the second consecutive year, Charles Sturt University was awarded an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality from the Commonwealth Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Athena SWAN Bronze Institution

Athena SWAN Bronze Institution

CSU is invested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) programs, and research. We are taking steps to improve gender equity in the STEMM disciplines at CSU.

Charles Sturt University was awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award in December 2018 and is one of the first Australian universities to receive this prestigious award.

At Charles Sturt University, we understand that gender equity is a fundamental element of our institution. We facilitate employment-related equity and diversity through:

  • Merit-based recruitment, selection and promotion processes
  • Generous flexible working arrangements, parental leave, carers leave and domestic violence provisions included within the Enterprise Agreement
  • Targeted training and development opportunities to support career progression
  • Policies and procedures to prevent unlawful discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Responsive management to concerns and complaints.

Workplace Gender Equity Strategy (2018-2022)

A University-wide Gender Equity Strategy was endorsed by Vice-Chancellor Andrew Vann in September 2018. The document can be viewed here.

Unconscious Bias and Inclusivity Training

Research shows that greater diversity within workplaces leads to stronger teams, better outcomes and greater happiness at work. However, our unconscious bias can limit acceptance of diversity and unwittingly set up non-inclusive practices. One of the best ways to overcome this is by gaining insight into our own bias and employing some simple strategies to create a more inclusive workplace.

We are rolling out Unconscious Bias and Inclusivity training across all Charles Sturt University campuses to assist staff in learning these strategies and increasing their awareness. This training is one of the key initiatives under both the Workplace Gender Equity Strategy, endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor in September 2018 and the Athena SWAN action plan which resulted in achieving an Athena SWAN Bronze Institution Award in December 2018.

The 3-hour interactive session covers:

  • Why we need to address unconscious bias and inclusivity, including organisational benefits and legislation
  • What is unconscious bias?
  • Understanding privilege, including the Privilege Walk and how to check our own privilege
  • How exclusion and unconscious bias negatively impacts behaviour and decisions
  • Case studies and examples of behaviours and their underlying assumptions
  • Equity vs Equality
  • Strategies for overcoming exclusion, including bystander interventions and the characteristics of being supportive

An evaluation report based on the first round of training has been conducted. Please follow the link to access the report.

WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador

On International Women's Day 2018, Professor Andrew Vann announced that he had become a Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Pay Equity Ambassador, joining other directors, Vice-Chancellor's, Heads of Departments and CEO's in signing the Pay Equity Pledge.

We recognise gender bias can creep into performance, talent development and pay decisions to create like for like gender pay gaps. That’s why we analyse and monitor our talent management data, including pay, by gender and take action.

We also set the expectation among people managers that they address gender bias in their decision making. We do this because we know we can’t attract and retain the best people and improve workplace productivity if there’s any unfairness or perception of unfairness in our workplaces.

We encourage all business leaders to take the first step.

Equal pay is in your hands.

Pay Equity Ambassadors help to create change by playing a leadership role in their business community and to the broader public, reinforcing their commitment to pay equity within their own organisation, and profiling and promoting their approach to pay equity. The media release regarding this significant step towards a more equitable workforce can be viewed here.

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 on the alternative year. Read more about LDW

Project YearProject Name and ReportProject Participants
2017Connect Four - Connect More: Breaking Down Silos at CSUAlexandra Knight, Deborah Munns, Katie White, & Sandra Sharpham
Fostering Leadership at all LevelsArnela Ceric, Ashleigh Coleman, Georgina Davis, Jessica Biles, Katie Sheridan, Kristy Robson, & Morgan Harrigan
Inspiring ChangeHayley Randle, Kerstin McPherson, Kim Thompson, Rachel Roberts, Sharon Schoenmaker, & Skye Wassens
Top-down Leadership at CSU?Luzia Rast, Michelle Wilkinson, Ruth Crawford, & Wendy Harris
2019The Confidence ProjectAnsin Antony, Kellie Dowling, Fleur Horsley, Miao Li, Kelly McCormack, & Camilla Rocks
Women Leading with InfluenceKatherine Attree, Rui Bi, Elizabeth Bracken, & Ilena Young
The Lived Experience of Gender and the Dependent Care Support Travel PolicyShara Cameron, Jessie Lymn, Jennifer Manyweathers, Katie Murrell-Orgill, & Geraldine Rurenga
Empowering Team CultureRebecca Kent, Stephanie Knott, Annabel Matheson, & Kiah Ryan

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.

Mentoring list

One of the key actions contained within the Workplace Gender Equity Strategy 2018-2022 is to “increase participation, visibility and profile of Leadership Development for Women (LDW) and Senior Women’s Forum (SWF)” and the measure of success being “compile list of mentors available in the University, and ensure list of mentors is easily accessible to staff to access informal and formal mentoring”. The list will be updated regularly and can be accessed here.

Bluestocking Week 2019

As part of Bluestocking Week 2019, the Senior Women's Forum, Human Resources Equity and Diversity and Athena SWAN Project Team ran a panel discussion on the Successes and Challenges of Female Academics. To view the recording, please follow this link.

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).

For more information, please contact

Respect. Now. Always.

Charles Sturt has zero-tolerance for sexual assault and sexual harassment. We join all Australian universities to keep building our values of safety, respect, and inclusion in our communities. Read more about Respect. Now. Always.

Consent Matters

As part of our Respect. Now. Always. Program, we welcome students employed as staff to Consent Matters. This fully interactive, evidence-based course covers sexual consent, communication within relationships, and bystander intervention.

Read more about Consent Matters

Quarterly newsletters

A key part of the Workplace Gender Equity Strategy 2018-2022 and the Athena SWAN Action Plan is the ongoing communication and distribution of information to staff regarding equity principles across CSU. In addition to training and webinars, a quarterly newsletter distributed to all staff will contain updates on the progress of gender equity initiatives, case studies, research findings and other relevant articles and information. We’d love to hear of any gender equity initiatives and good news stories from your area, please email details to

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:

WGEA Employer of Choice Application

In 2019, Charles Sturt was awarded the Workplace Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice Citation for the first time. in 2020, we were awarded the Citation for the second consecutive year. As part of our ongoing commitment to this space, we have made available our application for staff to view.