Following feedback from staff about the lack of gender equity at conferences and panels, the Athena Swan Working Party at Curtin University’s Faculty of Health Sciences have agreed not to sponsor or distribute flyers for conferences, seminars and events without knowing the organiser’s gender equity policy.

Starting this month, when a faculty member receives a request for event promotion or sponsorship, they will respond with the following email template:

Dear X,

Thank you for your request to publicise your event/for sponsorship. The Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University is committed to Gender Equity and the Athena Swan Charter. As part of this effort, we will only organise, participate in, publicise or sponsor internal and external events that include approximately equal representation of male and female presenters, and that support and encourage the voices of women.

Before actioning your request, please provide us with evidence of how your event will be supporting gender equity, for example in the composition of panels and symposia. If gender balance and diversity has not been considered or achieved, what action will you take to improve this?

Our goal is to increase gender equity and diversity on panels, and speaking at conferences, corporate events and other forums, as this will increase the visibility of women and strengthen the depth of conversations generated.

This initiative is one example of how SAGE subscribers are influencing others to consciously strive for gender equity and diversity. When people demand equity and diversity (especially those who belong to the majority group), they put pressure on workplaces and event organisers to change their systems and policies for the better.