Griffith University is the first Queensland University to achieve a Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Cygnet Award. The award recognises Griffith’s achievements in reducing barriers for people of diverse gender, bodies and sexuality (DGBS/LGBTQIA+).

Griffith has been working with SAGE to progress through the Athena Swan pathway, a framework helping higher education institutions improve their intersectional gender equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.

Since receiving their SAGE Bronze Award in 2018, Griffith’s Athena Swan Action Plan has included a focus on challenging the structural, systemic and cultural barriers standing in the way of greater sexuality and gender diversity.

SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft says “This is a wonderful achievement. It’s not possible to work towards gender equity without engaging deeply in making our workplaces LGBTQIA+ safe and inclusive, and Griffith has shown a real commitment to that goal.”

“By reflecting honestly on the challenges they faced and implementing data-driven Athena Swan Action Plan, Griffith was able to demonstrate a reduction in barriers to equity for LGBTQIA+ people in their institution.”

Griffith Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said “We are proud to receive the SAGE Cygnet Award, and have put in place several initiatives to improve the experiences of LGBTQIA+ staff and students over the past few years.”

“Griffith staff and senior leadership are committed to ensuring all staff and students including LGBTQIA+ people feel safe and supported at work.”

Research Grants Officer and Griffith Pride Committee Member Alison Wright said her positive experience studying at Griffith influenced her decision to actively seek employment at the university after postdoctoral studies in Germany.

“As a transgender woman I’ve had the unique experience of seeing the academic world through the lens of both a woman and an individual of the trans community,” Dr. Wright said.

“I attribute a large part of my success as an academic throughout my PhD to the supportive environment established here at Griffith University and believe I wouldn’t have been able to complete my degree without it.

“Griffith also lends a lot to the visibility of its staff members. With strong female leadership and an LGBTQIA+ inclusive network I was never left wanting for role models.”

Key achievements include:

  • Griffith’s score for Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a national benchmarking framework on LGBTQIA+ inclusion, increased by 344 per cent since 2017. We also progressed from ‘Participation’ to ‘Silver Tier’ which indicates improved standing compared to benchmarked institutions
  • An increase in the number of LGBTQIA+ Allies by 334 per cent since 2019
  • An average improvement of 21 per cent in the engagement survey results from non-binary staff between 2021 and 2022. This resulted in a closing of the engagement gap between non-binary staff and other LGBTQIA+ staff
  • Improvement experiences of respect from LGBTQIA+ staff compared to 2017.

Read Griffith University’s full Cygnet application.

Media contact

Mei Leow

Available for interview

Dr Janin Bredehoeft, CEO, Science in Australia Gender Equity