Western Sydney University’s achievements in increasing flexible work opportunities for all staff have been recognised with a SAGE Cygnet Award.

Western Sydney University is one of the first universities in Australia to have formalised remote working arrangements of up to two days a week in its Professional Staff Agreement. It also has introduced a range of initiatives to promote and encourage flexible work across the University, including for Indigenous staff and male parents.

Since implementing their SAGE action plan, the University has dramatically increased awareness of flexible work options across all staff, specifically for academics, parents and Indigenous staff. The uptake of males reporting that they access flexible working has increased, and Indigenous staff are now the most consistently satisfied with flexible work of all staff cohorts.

SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft congratulated the University.

“This award recognises Western Sydney University’s serious commitment to improving flexibility for their academic and professional staff.”

“Through their work with SAGE, WSU identified the benefits of flexible work beyond supporting those in caring roles, for example for First Nations people. Flexible work makes space for everyone to be their whole selves at work.”

“I applaud WSU for working towards this goal.”

Staff reported that the changes in flexible work approaches and policies afforded them greater autonomy in both their work and home lives,
increased their capacity to manage caring responsibilities, reduced commute times, improved their health and wellbeing; increased satisfaction and productivity, and enabled staff with disability to perform at full capacity.

The recognition follows the University’s Athena Swan Bronze Award in 2020 for work to promote gender equity in STEMM, and recent ranking as first in the world for Gender Equality in the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said Western Sydney University is proud to be a world leader and ensuring flexible working conditions are available to all its staff.

“The University is committed to providing a supportive and adaptive work environment for our diverse academic and professional staff communities. We know that flexible work practices are essential for increasing engagement, satisfaction and retention, and have a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of our staff,” said Professor Glover.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Sweeney said, “The University’s intersectional and systemic approach to gender equity continues to be a best-practice exemplar for the sector.”

Western Sydney University’s Cygnet Award application is available on the SAGE website.

Media contact:

Heather Champion |  sagemedia@sciencegenderequity.org.au