Increasing Gender Equity & Diversity Capability to unleash staff potential & increase University performance


  • Adhoc diversity programs for women with no existing women in leadership strategy
  • Staff with disabilities and Aboriginal & Torre Strait Islander action plansat different stages of maturity with limited success
  • Leaders felt frustrated and/or helpless to improve leadership diversity of talent pipeline
  • The internal talent pipeline to leadership was leaking, with male, Anglo senior leadership not reflecting the diversity of available talent or the diversity of the studentpopulation
  • Diversity was managedby HR and seen as a “tick box” compliance process
  • Inconsistent diversity outcomes for staff that were dependant on supervisor and faculty
  • Staff worked flexibly but part-time work was career limiting and seen as “special treatment for women” despite progressive relative to opportunity approach to promotion
  • Senior women were angry and frustrated by lack of female leadership progress



  • The University had externally recognised best practice HR policies and processes
  • The University Senate, Vice Chancellor and Head of HR recognised they had a problem
  • Feeder pool was diverse with high success in recruiting female and Aboriginaltalent
  • Leaders were well intentioned but didn’t know what to do



  • Conductedwikibombing eventto profile 55 outstandinguniversity women andheld inaugural internal women in leadership symposium with 300 staff, VC and Chancellor
  • Consulted with leaders and staff and implemented Gender and D & I strategy with budget
  • Launched Ally network to support LGBTIQ inclusion and first float in Mardi Gras 2016
  • Implemented 2020 gender targets for female academic and professionals
  • Implementedtargeted career development, mentoring andInaugural VC sponsorship program for Culturally & Linguistically Diversewomen
  • Implemented D & I , unconscious bias & inclusive leadership training for top 400 leaders
  • University accepted as member ofScience in Gender Equality (SAGE) STEMM pilot
  • Implementedoverarching 8 pillar D & I strategy with “plug and play” targeted action plans and metrics for all Diversity Identity Groups 


  • Vice Chancellor (VC) was first VC to be invited to join Male Champions of Change (MCC)
  • Existing local Faculty best practice policies & programs scaled across university e.g. SPAM
  • 82% of female academicscompared to 81% males achieved promotion in 2015 cycle
  • Have seen 6% increase in female professors from 23% to 29% in 3 years
  • Have shifted senior leader & staff mindsets from diversity as a risk to a capability enhancer
  • Mobilised staff through strategic events and networks building significant D & I momentum
  • New D & I values and strategies  core component of 2016- 2020 Strategic plan
  • All Faculties and PSUs now have local targets and gender action plans are underway