Gender Equity is Everybody’s Business

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Legislation including The Equal Pay Act (1970), The Discrimination Act (1975), and The Workplace Gender Equality Act (2012) behove universities to not simply be non-discriminatory but to demonstrate their promotion of gender equality in the workplace. This requires university directors, deans, PVCs and DVCs to actively engage in gender equity strategy, implementation and monitoring.

Gender inequity remains a critical issue across higher education, negatively impacting the careers of women (inclusively defined) who work in universities and women graduates.  Whilst women have represented more than 50% of employees in Australian universities since 2000, men are consistently overrepresented in higher ranking work and leadership roles “constituting a plurality of those involved in policymaking” (Anicha et al., 2020, p. 848), informing the perpetuation of gendered policies and cultures. Relatedly, although women constitute three fifths of graduates, male graduates are far more likely to apply for graduate level jobs than their female counterparts, a phenomenon that has been attributed to a gendered experience of university.

Following the short presentation of research findings, this workshop, designed specifically for CAULT nominees, will facilitate activities to support leaders of learning and teaching to consider the role of learning and teaching units to engender gender equity in universities, and to assist them in complying with Australian legislative requirements.  The workshop will invite members to join a community of practice (or similar) to collaborate on projects, advocacy, and resource and strategy development to support gender equality within universities in Australasia.


Gail Crimmins is Deputy Head of School (Learning and Teaching), School of Business and Creative Industries at University of the Sunshine Coast, and gender equity researcher, editor of Strategies for Resisting Sexism in the Academy: Higher Education, Gender and Intersectionality.

Agnes Bosanquet is Director, Learning & Teaching Staff Development, Macquarie University, and a  feminist higher education researcher, with her most recent co-authored publication an analysis of 40 years of feminist scholarship in Higher Education Research and Development.

Marina Harvey has held significant leadership roles including Director, Academic Development UNSW and President and Executive Board Member, Council of University Leaders of Learning and Teaching, and recently co-authored “Challenge accepted: Women claiming leadership in higher education learning and teaching”.