Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) has warmly welcomed new recommendations from an independent panel advising the Australian Government on how to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM.

The final recommendations of the Pathways to Diversity in STEM Review call on the Government to commit to a whole-of-government, long-term strategy, with dedicated government resources and a dedicated advisory council.

This strategic approach would include the establishment of a suite of connected, complementary programs based on established best-practice program design.

SAGE highlighted

One such best-practice approach is the SAGE framework, which supports higher education and research institutions to monitor, evaluate and publicly report on the progress and impact of their diversity and inclusion interventions.

The report recommends that SAGE receives further Government funding to continue this work.

SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredeheoft said “We’re very pleased to see such strong recognition that the SAGE approach works.”

“Our framework is all about driving structural, systemic and cultural change in the higher education and research sector, and these recommendations reflect our positive results.”

Other key recommendations

SAGE also applauds the recommendation that the Government use grant funding processes to ensure that applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences are competitive for funding. Linking grant funding to EDI was one of the key recommendations in our submission to the Review.

We also welcome the suggestion that the Government provides long-term (5 to 10-year) funding to evidence-based programs, ensuring that opportunities to scale up these programs and increase their impact are not missed.

However, we wish to express disappointment that the Review recommends the discontinuation of the Women in STEM Ambassador program.

Systemic change is the future focus

Importantly, systemic change is highlighted throughout the report. This is the principle on which SAGE’s work is founded. As the Panel explains, “[People who are underrepresented in STEM] should not have to change to belong and thrive in learning and work environments not designed to support them.”

“The system must change, not the people.”

We strongly support this statement as a guiding principle for the forthcoming Diversity in STEM strategy, and urge the Australian Government to implement the Review’s final recommendations.

Media contact: Heather Champion |