Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has earned two prestigious SAGE Cygnet Awards for their work to improve equity, diversity and inclusion across the Institute.

The Awards, conferred by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), recognise an organisation’s work to removing a barrier that has stood in the way of equitable participation for all staff. For each Award, an organisation must show they have analysed the existing obstacles, taken action to make change, and demonstrated outcomes and impacts on staff.

The Awards recognise the Baker Institute’s work to establish a gender-inclusive culture, and their progress in formalising and promoting flexible workplace practices.

Change across the board

SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoft congratulated the team who were responsible for driving this work forwards.

“Together, these two Awards recognise that the Baker Institute has made a deep commitment to building equity across their organisation.”

“Cultural change is a difficult thing to tackle, but the Baker Institute has made progress across the board to be more gender inclusive. They have introduced a wide raft of initiatives which led to small but meaningful improvements against almost all of the cultural measures they tracked.”

“Their efforts to embed flexible work opportunities for all staff have also led to direct improvements in their retention of women on staff. It’s a great result.”

Concrete results

Between 2020 and 2022, the Institute worked to change unhelpful stereotypes and to improve the visibility of women in the organisation, resulting in women reporting feeling more valued as an employee (up 9pp) and more able to freely express their views (up 13pp), and being more likely to feel that gender equity is fully integrated into culture and management (up 10pp).

The Institute also focussed their attention on flexible working arrangements, formalising them in their latest Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, noting the importance of assisting employees (including eligible casuals) to balance their work and personal responsibilities.

Since then they have actively promoted the availability of flexible work, increasing the proportion of staff being granted flexible work arrangements, and decreasing the proportion of women who feel “intimidated” when asking for accommodations. They also saw reductions in the percentage of women resigning during or immediately after returning from parental leave.

A data-driven framework

Baker Institute Director, Professor John Greenwood says: “I am delighted that two of our SAGE Cygnet Awards on inclusive culture and flexible work arrangements have been successful and I want to thank our Gender Equity and Diversity Committee in particular. This is a fantastic achievement on our journey towards a silver Athena Swan award and importantly, highlights our ongoing commitment to improving gender equity, diversity and inclusion.

“Having recently come from the UK where the Athena SWAN Charter is well-established, I understand the importance of this evidence-based, data-driven framework in creating a workplace where everyone feels welcome, safe, supported, respected at work, and has the same opportunities for development and success.”

The Baker Institute’s progress, detailing their actions and the outcomes and impacts for both Cygnet Awards, is available via their SAGE Profile.