The SAGE Athena SWAN Program

The University of Queensland is proud to be a Bronze Institutional Award level participant in the SAGE Athena SWAN program, a charter for research organisations that is improving gender equity in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines all over the world.

The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Athena Science Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) charter aims to improve gender equity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine (STEMM) disciplines in higher education and research institutions.

Participating organisations apply for award levels that reflect their progress towards gender equity in STEMM. After successfully achieving the entry-level Bronze accreditation, organisations must then implement agreed actions and initiatives before they can apply for higher levels of Silver or Gold status.

SAGE Athena SWAN is an Australian adaptation of an accreditation framework successfully implemented in the United Kingdom since 2005. In the UK, some research grant bodies now require organisations to have a minimum Bronze-level award to be eligible for grant applications.

SAGE Athena SWAN specifically focuses on improving and supporting career progression in STEMM disciplines – where women are under-represented – and requires organisations to address challenges people may experience in these fields.

Nearly 50 Australian organisations, including universities, medical research institutions and government research institutions, are involved in the SAGE Athena SWAN program, with 39 participants achieving Bronze Award accreditation to date. 

The program’s many benefits, verified by an independent review of the Athena SWAN charter in 2014, include:

  • women being more deliberately and prominently involved in the organisation and the wider sector
  • all staff experiencing an increase career development opportunities, self-confidence, and leadership skills
  • broader organisational thinking about gender issues.
 

SAGE Athena SWAN at UQ

SAGE Athena SWAN at UQ

At UQ, we value and apply the SAGE Athena SWAN principles of reflection and support across our entire organisation. We are identifying and addressing barriers that all researchers experience in their careers, to improve diversity in all disciplines, at all levels, and for all people.

After a lengthy consultation, planning, and application process for our first submission for accreditation, UQ was awarded a Bronze Institutional Award in 2019, and now has four years to implement an agreed action plan in order to be eligible to apply for a Silver Institutional Award in 2024.

A Gender Steering Committee (GSC) – chaired by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Bronwyn Harch, and consisting of 23 staff and students from across UQ – will implement our action plan to improve policies, plans, initiatives and organisational culture between 2019 and 2024.

Scientists in lab

Why gender equity?

Diversity – of thought, experience, and background – strengthens an organisation.

In STEMM disciplines, women are increasingly under-represented in academic career levels as seniority increases – a phenomenon known as the ‘leaky career pipeline’.

For example, while women make up around 50 per cent of Level A academics, only approximately 20 per cent of Level E professors are women – this is the case at UQ, in Australia, and in the higher education sector internationally.

Scientists in lab

 

Researcher and students on beach

An extensive body of academic and corporate literature clearly demonstrates that a holistic approach to increasing diversity directly correlates to improved organisational performance.

Academic and corporate research also shows that senior role models who represent the same gender and culture as students and junior staff are critically important to show that career aspirations to these levels are achievable.

Addressing under-represented groups to ensure that teams are balanced and representative of the wider community is therefore essential for organisational success.

Unfortunately, working towards more diverse teams is sometimes opposed by arguments that fixate on merit – in simple terms, that ‘the best person should get the job, regardless of their gender, background, or identity’.

Practitioner consulting with patient

While this is true, the issue is far more nuanced, influenced by a number of issues including unconscious bias, social and cultural factors, and performance relative to opportunity, to name just a few – and in fact, diversity and merit are not mutually exclusive, and are often linked.

For example, at UQ, although all decision-making processes are ultimately merit-based, in situations where certain groups are under-represented – such as women in STEMM disciplines – we recognise that we need to work harder as an organisation to improve diversity by encouraging more eligible people from underrepresented groups to apply for these roles so they can be considered in the first place.

We achieve this through a number of initiatives that are coordinated through the SAGE Athena SWAN Action Plan, including revisions of formal processes, mentoring and support programs, training and representation in marketing and messaging, and many more, so that members of these groups are eligible for consideration through the selection process in the first place.


Practitioner consulting with patient

As part of UQ’s Bronze Institutional Award accreditation, we must implement a 36-point gender action plan between 2019 and 2024.

Note: due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on University activity, SAGE has awarded all participating institutions a 12-month extension to implement their plans. 

A Gender Steering Committee (GSC) is overseeing this action plan implementation.

View the action plan

 

Actions that have been implemented or are ongoing

Actions that have been implemented or are ongoing

SC 1 – A new suite of Diversity and Inclusion policies and procedures.

SC 4 – Establish Gender Steering Committee

DC 4 – Implement staff entry and exit surveys

DC 5 – Longitudinal cohort analysis focusing on career trajectory, promotion progression and retention

NC 4 – Reduce UQ’s overall gender pay gap

WC 3 – Best-practice policy and procedure in support of diversity and inclusion outcomes

DS 1 – Improved support for gender diverse and transgender staff

DS 2 – Improved support for cultural inclusion

DS 4 – Upskill HR staff to provide advice and support across key areas of diversity focus

DS 5 – Ensure a gender and intersectional lens is applied to all work conducted by UQ diversity committees

 

Actions that are in progress

Actions that are in progress

SC 2 – KPIs for leaders

SC3 – Annual gender equity reporting

SC 5 – Athena SWAN Communications and Engagement Framework

DC 1 – Collection of gender diversity data for key career-cycle processes

DC 3 – Collect a broad range of staff diversity data

EA 1 – Implement proactive attraction, recruitment and selection policies, tools and programs

EA 2 – Revise UQ position description template to be more appealing to women

EA 3 – Enhance web presence as a progressive and inclusive employer for women

EA 4 – Improve UQ induction processes

IC 1 – Reduce bias within committee/panel decision-making processes

NC 1 – Interventions to improve women’s workplace experiences

NC 2 – Targeted interventions for to improve progression from Academic Level B–C

OC 1 – Measures to reduce the impact of career breaks on career trajectory

OC 2 – Improve access to flexible working arrangements

OC 3 – Improve support for staff with caring responsibilities

WC 1 – Refresh performance appraisal processes for academic staff

WC 2 – Staff training and development framework linked to key leadership skills at each level of the organisation

WC 4 – Recognition of women’s service contributions

DS 3 – Further research regarding the experiences of staff with disability

DS 6 – Enhance career outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in STEMM

 

Actions that have not started

Actions that have not started

DC 2 – Enable gender tracking in internal grant, research proposal and publication processes

IC 2 – Improve women’s representation on senior committees

NC 4 – Improve promotion processes to enhance equity outcomes

NC 5 – Identify and mitigate gender inequities associated with internal grant, research proposal and publication processes

NC 6 – Targeted measures to support women’s access to funding

OC 4 – A framework for application of Performance Relative to Opportunity (PRO)

UQ’s Gender Steering Committee was formed to implement our SAGE Athena SWAN Action Plan as we progress towards Silver accreditation.

The GSC champions strategic and transparent governance, accountability, planning and a reporting framework for gender equity, which reflects UQ’s commitment to broader diversity and inclusion.

The GSC comprises representatives from across UQ, including staff (academic and professional) and students, who bring diverse experience from different roles, career stages, work arrangements, and personal backgrounds.

The GSC aims to reflect the diversity of our UQ community, and represents a gender balance of 43%.

UQ staff and students can access the following information:

GSC Terms of Reference GSC definition of STEMM

 

GSC Members

GSC Members

  • Bronwyn Harch, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) – Chair
  • Nathan Andersen, Recruitment Services, People Services Unit
  • Benjamin Burton, Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Aidan Byrne, Provost
  • Taylor Dick, Lecturer, School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Terry Fitzsimmons, Lecturer, Business School
  • Bronwyn Fredericks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement)
  • Abby Haslehurst, Masters Candidate, School of Psychology
  • Anthony Galliozi, HR Business Partner, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
  • Dee Gibbon, Associate Director, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
  • Camille Layt, Corporate Publications Manager, Marketing and Communications
  • Emma Livingstone, Research Administration Officer, Office of Sponsored Research
  • Linda Lua, Professor, UQ Protein Expression Facility
  • Elizabeth Mackinlay, Associate Professor, School of Education
  • Jess Mar, Associate Professor, Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology
  • Geoff McColl, Executive Dean, Medicine
  • Lisa McDaid, Professor, Institute for Social Science Research
  • Jacqui Romero, ARC DECRA Fellow, School of Mathematics & Physics
  • Ethan Scott, Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences and Queensland Brain Institute
  • Martin Stroet, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences
  • Yasmina Sultanbawa, Principal Research Fellow, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
  • Mehmet Yildirimoglu, Lecturer, School of Civil Engineering
  • Adam Walker, Ross Maclean Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute
 

GSC Secretariat

(subject matter expertise and support)

GSC Secretariat

(subject matter expertise and support)

  • Nicole Barton, Strategic Data Analyst, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
  • Tanya Lutvey, Senior Manager, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

At UQ, the SAGE Athena SWAN charter is just one of the ways we are committed to improving gender equity.

 

For staff

For staff

In the workplace, the following frameworks, plans and policies guide our progress:

 For our staff, initiatives to improve gender equity include:

  • increasing the proportion of women in senior positions
  • increasing support of career progression of women in research
  • providing equal remuneration for women and men for work of equal or comparable value
  • removing barriers that prevent women from participating equally in the workplace
  • providing more access to resources for women to achieve leadership roles
  • eliminating assumptions of caring responsibilities of men and women
  • changing workplace culture to embrace gender equality as a normative practice
  • assisting in making transition from parental leave to return to work as smooth as possible.
 

Other initiatives

Other initiatives

We also recognise the importance of inspiring students from diverse backgrounds and genders to study in disciplines they may be under-represented in, as they will be our future researchers, leaders and thinkers.  

A number of research and resources are available to inform the development of evidence-based diversity and inclusion initiatives in your organisational unit.

 

SAGE and Athena SWAN resources

SAGE and Athena SWAN resources

 

Women in STEM decadal plan

Women in STEM decadal plan

 

Academic career path

Academic career path

 

Performance relative to opportunity

Performance relative to opportunity

 

Business case for gender equity and leadership

Business case for gender equity and leadership

 

Gender pay equity

Gender pay equity

 

Quotas and targets

Quotas and targets

 

Parental leave

Parental leave

 

Intersectionality

Intersectionality

 

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious Bias

The Merle  Pledge

Many high-profile conferences, events, task forces and media outlets lack gender balance, despite there often being no shortage of qualified women to contribute.

To help address this, the Panel Pledge initiative encourages academics and professionals to commit to requesting gender equity as a condition of participation on any panel or conference.

The concept was originally developed through a partnership between Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, Male Champions of Change and Chief Executive Women.

At UQ, we have tailored this to create an initiative known as The Merle Pledge.

The Merle Pledge is an effort to substantially improve women’s representation in public and professional forums.

We encourage academics and professional staff from all backgrounds and genders to take the pledge, and join the worldwide movement to advance gender equity in academia and other occupations.

“We need to make all-male panels, or ‘manels’, a thing of the past. By limiting the range of perspectives to that of only half the population, we’re limiting the quality of the conversation.”

Professor Renae Ryan, Academic Director of SAGE (Science in Australia Gender Equity).

The Merle Pledge

 

I commit to:

I commit to:

  • increasing the visibility and contribution of women in public and professional forums
  • advocating for gender balance and diversity in all professional events, panels and conferences
  • encouraging my colleagues and friends to participate in the Merle Pledge
  • questioning and raising the issue of gender balance and diversity when the opportunity arises
  • actively encouraging and supporting the voices of women
  • honouring the Merle Pledge whenever I am invited to speak
  • standing up for what is right
  • persevering and not accepting excuses for unequal representation.
 

When attending or organising panel sessions and conferences, I will:

When attending or organising panel sessions and conferences, I will:

  • Make it known to my colleagues that I stand for gender equality and that I will only support, attend and organise events where a gender diverse panel or line-up of speakers is offered (or all reasonable attempts have been made).
  • Request information about other panellists, speakers, and participants in advance, and ask explicitly how gender balance will be achieved.
  • Insist, as a condition of acceptance, that women be encouraged to participate and contribute in a meaningful way.
  • Offer names of women from within UQ or my network, or direct the organisers to resources that can assist them in finding women to participate.
  • Question the composition of panellists and speakers, and reserve my right to withdraw from events, even at the last minute, if gender balance and diversity is not achieved.
After you have registered, your name will be added to the list below, and you will be sent a confirmation email containing resources to help you promote the Merle Pledge and champion gender equity as a pledge participant.
 

A legend lends her name – Merle Thornton’s legacy

A legend lends her name – Merle Thornton’s legacy

The Merle Pledge is named after Merle Thornton AM – one of Brisbane’s most legendary feminist activists and authors, and who is also a UQ alumnus and former staff member.

In 1965, Merle was a mother of two, in her thirties, and teaching Philosophy at The University of Queensland. She and her friend, Rosalie Bogner, decided to speak out for women’s rights in Queensland by protesting an almost inconceivable double standard by modern standards – at the time, women were not allowed by law to be customers at a public bar in Queensland.

On 31 March 1965, Merle and Rosalie strode into Brisbane's Regatta Hotel and chained themselves to the foot rail. Despite police trying to remove them from the premises, the women refused. The protest made headlines, sparked public debate, and resulted in death threats and accusations of neglecting their children. Their phones were tapped for years, and for a while, they had unmarked police cars stationed at the front of their homes to keep watch.

The protest is considered a pivotal moment in Australian women’s liberation movement, garnering national attention and bringing forward a change in Queensland laws (section 59A of the Liquor Act was repealed to allow women to freely drink in public bars). The bar at the Regatta was eventually renamed ‘Merle’s Bar’ to honour her courage and contribution to women’s rights.  

Since then, Merle has led many initiatives to further women’s rights in Australia, including forming the Equal Opportunities for Women Association, and leading a successful campaign to eliminate the ‘marriage bar’ law, which had excluded married women from career public service in Australia. She also helped establish the first Women's Studies course at UQ, wrote an inspiring memoir, Bringing the Fight, and has been a pivotal figure in securing national attention for women’s rights in Australia.

The following staff have committed to advance gender equality by taking the Merle Pledge

 

UQ Executive and senior leaders

UQ Executive and senior leaders

  • Professor Deborah Terry AO – Vice-Chancellor and President
    I am proud to take the Merle pledge because I believe shifting this ubiquitous imbalance is not just the right thing to do from a values perspective, but also a strategic one. It’s clear that having gender equity on boards and on major committees leads to better organisational outcomes and decision making. There are innumerable positives that come from having cohorts of leaders that represent the population, and the population, as we know, is diverse.​
  • Professor Aidan Byrne – Provost
    Merle has shown us that clear-eyed decision-making, combined with fearless a determination to remove barriers preventing equality, can create lasting change. I am proud to take the Merle Pledge in her honour and with it the commitment to breaking down the invisible barriers to gender equality, because I know that society is safer, healthier and happier when genders have equal access to power, resources and opportunities.
  • Professor Joanne Wright – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
    I took the Merle Pledge because it is the right thing to do.
  • Rongyu Li – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement)
    I believe everyone benefits from gender equality, especially in public forums where women’s important contributions can be seen, heard, and inspire others to follow them. Women have contributed so much to society and are vital to our future, but are all too often not visible for many systematic and societal reasons. I intend to challenge and change that for the better.
  • Professor Bronwyn Harch – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
    The Merle Pledge is important for me as it provides a needed 'call up arms' for me to continue to focus on achieving greater women’s representation in public and professional forums. And it provides a tangible activity for me to refer to colleagues to contribute and have an impact.
  • Mr Greg Pringle – Chief Operating Officer, Office of the Chief Operating Officer
    It is important to stand for what is right. Respect, integrity and courage are worth the stand.
  • Professor Mark Blows – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Professor Tim Dunne – Pro-Vice-Chancellor
    On UQ's signature block is the words 'create change'. Gender equality is fundamental to the change we want to create in the world.
  • Dr Jessica Gallagher – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship)
    Addressing current global challenges requires diversity of perspective and for all members of our community to share their knowledge and expertise, and have an opportunity to contribute.
  • Jennifer Karlson – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement)
    I and my colleagues globally have benefited from the leadership, advocacy and commitment of those before us and must remain committed to sustaining and building upon their efforts and progress. Further, Merle's connection to UQ and Queensland history makes this all the more personal and special. I look forward to honouring this pledge each day.​
  • Professor Mohan Krishnamoorthy – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Partnerships)
    I completely agree with, support and practice (and promise to uphold) every element of the pledge. It is important to act with a view to increasing and championing diversity in everything we do. Just. Everything.
  • Professor Joe Schapter – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure)
    We must have a society where everyone has equal opportunities to succeed.
  • Professor Alan Rowan – Director, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    I enthusiastically support the Merle Pledge because gender balance and diversity lie at the heart of a fair and equal society. As Director of the AIBN I am committed to creating an environment which empowers all, where gender and diversity are embraced and equity is at the heart of all we do.
  • Professor Pankaj Sah – Director, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Professor Neville Plint – Director, Sustainable Minerals Institute
    I took the Merle Pledge because I stand for equality, inclusion and diversity.
  • Professor Andrew Griffiths – Executive Dean, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    I support the Merle pledge. For a healthy society and community it's important to hear, acknowledge and reflect the diversity of our society.
  • Professor Heather Zwicker – Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
    I took the Merle Pledge because diversity is our strength: we have better discussions, and make better decisions, when we bring that diversity to all our academic, professional (and ideally, personal) endeavours.
  • Professor Geoff McColl – Executive Dean, Faculty of Medicine
    I am committed to enacting the Merle Pledge in all that I do. It aligns to my personal values and to a clear, evidence-based approach to improving the world in which we live.
  • Professor Melissa Brown – Executive Dean, Faculty of Science
    I took the Merle Pledge because gender equity is essential to the success and workplace positive culture of The University of Queensland, and this will only be achieved if we demonstrate equity, diversity and inclusion in everything we do, and ensure that diversity and role models are normal and visible in all of our activities.
  • Andrew Flannery – Chief Financial Officer, Finance
    Actions speak louder than words. Taking the Merle Pledge is a simple but effective action to ensure ongoing gender diversity in professional life.
  • Dr Al Jury – Chief Human Resources Officer
    On my return to Australia, after ten years of working in Scandinavia, I was genuinely surprised by the lack of targeted measures to support gender equity within the Australian context. I view the Merle Pledge as an important strategic initiative for the University of Queensland and Australia generally, and am very pleased to make this public declaration of my personal and professional commitment to a creating a more equitable society.
  • Rob Moffatt – Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Services
    Support for gender equality is a fundamental responsibility of us all.
  • Jim Carmichael – Director, Health, Safety and Wellness
    It is 2020... appreciation for gender balance and diversity should be a non-negotiable by now!
 

UQ staff

UQ staff

  • Sasha Ackfun – Marketing and Communications Assistant, Marketing and Communication
  • Mrs Brianna Ah Mau – HR Business Partner, Human Resources, Faculty of Science
  • Professor Jonathan Aitchison – Professor and Head of School, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Dr Lisa Akison – Research Fellow, Child Health Research Centre
    The visibility of women in professional forums is key to encouraging young women to follow their ambitions and normalises gender diversity.
  • Aileen Alexander – Service Improvement Manager, Student Services
    I am taking the Merle Pledge as women have had to fight for equality for such a long time, and in some countries today a woman still does not have a political voice. It is inconceivable that as recently as 1929 Emily Murphy applied for a position in the Canadian Senate, she was refused because women were not considered "persons" under section 24 of the British North American Act 1867! Do we have to wait for another century before we can finally say all women are equal?
  • Suhailah Ali – PhD student, School of Public Health
    I'm tired of all-male, predominantly white panels and I want to see increased representation of women and people of colour!
  • Jodee Allanson – Organisational Development Consultant and Supervising Psychologist, Human Resources Division and School of Psychology
    I am committed to women's equality and in particular, gender balance and diversity at all professional forums and events.
  • Fatimah Almathami – Research Scholar, ITEE
    As female who completed a Bachelor, Master and GradDip in Tech who in each degree attended lectures that full of male students, I need to support female to enrol in these field for their benefit and STEM fields privilege. I tutored IS/IT for 2 years and my classes were full of male students. This why we need more women presentation to diversify our STEMM fields and borden the innovative ideas/thoughts.
  • Jill Amber – HR Business Partner, Human Resources
  • Nasim Amiralian – UQ Amplify Fellow, AIBN
    It is important to have gender equity at different levels to have a happier, healthier and more productive society, with full human potential and sustainable development. I have been a strong advocate for supporting women, specially younger scientist and students to achieve their goals and make their dreams come true.
  • Monika Andersen – Diversity Employment and Events Coordinator, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
    I want to support a more equitable, diverse and inclusive community.
  • India Anderson – Research Assistant, ITEE
    We are all responsible for standing up for what's right.
  • Laura Anderson – Manager, International Agreements, Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship
    I took the Merle Pledge because supporting important initiatives like this, I can only hope, will positively influence future workplaces for my two young daughters, providing them with equal rights and opportunities that they, and everyone deserves.
  • Dr Lauren Aoude – Research Fellow, Diamantina Institute
    We should all actively encourage and support the voices of women in academia.
  • Professor Peta Ashworth OAM – Director, Andrew N Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership
    I believe it is the right thing to do. We need gender equality to encourage diversity of thought, creativity and to build a more cohesive society. With two daughters I hope that I can help pave the way to enable them to participate equally across all parts of their lives.
  • Julie Baglot – Engagement Manager, Science
    Diversity of opinion, experience and skills is essential to generate new ideas and to create unique solutions for challenges. The world is a better place when we have diversity.
  • Rinie Bajracharya – PhD Student, Queensland Brain Institute
    There exists a large underrepresentation of women in the STEMM field. I want a world where gender equality and equal opportunities are normalised within our society. As a woman in STEMM, I pledge to assist in ensuring that these basic rights become a reality.
  • Dr Matilde Balbi – Assistant Professor, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Lauren Barker – Employer Liaison Coordinator, Student Employability Centre
    I am passionate about women in leadership and increasing the awareness and contribution of women in public and professional forums.
  • Marc Barnbaum – Communications Coordinator, ATSI Studies Unit
    When certain world leaders are letting down the team, it's up to individuals to stand up and be counted.
  • Nicole Barton – Athena SWAN Progam Lead, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
    I am taking the Merle Pledge because together we are stronger. All forums need to have a range of diverse speakers to bring out the best ideas and capitalise on the synergy derived from many minds working together and sharing knowledge. That is how you Create Change.
  • Professor Kaye Basford AM – Professor, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
  • Belinda Benes – Project Manager, ITaLI
  • Professor Christine Beveridge – Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture
    This pledge is an action to provide a safe, fair and rewarding environment to enable innovation, personal fulfillment and to heighten enjoyment and belonging. It is the right thing to do.
  • Dr Bronwyn Battersby – Business Manager, Sustainable Minerals Institute
    I stand for gender equality for our generation and the generations that follow.
  • Claudia Benham – Lecturer Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Caitlin Bennett – Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
    I will be taking the Merle pledge to show my support in increasing women's representation and supporting the Diversity and Inclusion within UQ - specifically in the Gender space!
  • Belinda Bern – Director, Graduate School
    It is beyond equity - diversity of participation and thought makes organisations and societies stronger and more able to prepare for the future.
  • Pat Blackhall – Principal Research Fellow, QAAFI
    Gender balance and diversity are critical to maximising the achievements and benefits that research can provide to our society.
  • Marc Blum – Security Architect, ITS
    Diverse representation is essential for good leadership and decision-making.
  • Antje Blumenthal – Associate Professor, Diamantina Institute
  • Professor Phil Bodman – Deputy Executive Dean, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    This helps to convey to others my personal ongoing commitment to gender diversity and my advocacy for gender balance. It provides a clear indication to others that they should consider committing to similar beliefs and actions.
  • Dr Vanessa Bonazzi – Research Fellow, UQ Diamantina Institute
    I am a woman and I believe gender equality is essential to ensure equal opportunity for all of us in a balanced society.
  • Jodie Booth – Clinical Education Liaison Manager, SHRS
    I want to be part of the change that enables women and girls to not only have the chance to have their voices heard, but to be the voices that lead our community forward into a better tomorrow.
  • Helen Bostock – Associate Professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Diversity in science and research is critical to providing the best and most creative solutions to global issues.
  • Ms Rosalind Boulton – Alumni & Community Engagement Manager, Faculty of Science
    We can achieve equality only by working at it.
  • Lauren Bourke – HR Advisor, Central HR
    Gender equality is a human right, it benefits everyone, it benefits our economy and society. It's time make a serious change!
  • Dr Claire Bradley – Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Timothy Bredy – Associate Professor, Queensland Brain Institute
    This is for my nine-year-old daughter who dreams of veterinary and marine science and for my wife who has just entered graduate school.
  • Timothy Bredy – Associate Professor, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Dr Melissa Brinums – Research Administration Officer, Office of Sponsored Research
  • Teagan Brown – Recruitment Advisor, Recruitment Services
  • Lucy Bryce – Executive Coordinator, HASS
    I believe in equity and the support for continued representation of woman.
  • Dr Michael Bulmer – Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Tracey Bunda – Professor Indigenous Studies, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit
    I am committed to raising the profile of women, particularly Indigenous women.
  • Professor Robin Burgess-Limerick – Professor, Sustainable Minerals Institute
  • Andrew Burton-Jones – Professor of Business Information Systems, UQ Business School
  • Professor Annemaree Carroll – Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
    The Merle Pledge is a strong commitment and endorsement to supporting the visibility and contribution of women and actively addresses the importance of gender equity and equality for future generations of women. I have been privileged to work with outstanding female academics throughout my career at UQ and want this to continue and strengthen further with recognition of their incredible contributions to campus life and leadership.
  • Professor Megan Cassidy-Welch – McCaughey Chair in History and Head of School, School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
    I am committed to gender equity in the workplace and beyond.
  • Amy Chambers – HR Advisor, Human Resources
    I stand for gender equality.
  • Suresh Chand – Director Governance and Risk, COO Portfolio
    Our success and survival depends on diversity and equal representation.
  • Divya Chopra – Research Intern, UQ Dentistry
  • Professor Paul Clarke – Director, UQ Diamantina Institute
    I believe strongly in gender equality and there should be no barriers for women to succeed in science, medicine and other careers. By advocating for the equal representation of women in public and professional forums we can help achieve this.
  • Anne Cleary – Research Fellow, Institute for Social Science Research
    It is important to have the female voice represented and respected at all levels in STEMM, particularly women of colour, women from Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities and women from other diverse backgrounds such as the LGBTIQA+ community.
  • Associate Professor Jack Clegg – Associate Professor, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
  • Professor Vicki Clifton – Professorial Fellow Mater Research, Mater Research Institute – UQ
    I have spent many years experiencing gender inequality in all scientific activities and it is my responsibility as a Professor to drive the change in my field.
  • Lucinda Coalter – Facilities Officer, Faculty of Medicine
    To continue the good works of Merle Thornton AM and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The baton has been passed, and women of today must continue to champion gender equity to ensure humanity hears our voices.
  • Dr Bernadette Cochrane – Lecturer in Drama, School of Communication and Arts
    It's 2020, and its the right thing to do.
  • Dr Lavinia Codd – Advancement Manager, Queensland Brain Institute
    Gender equality is the only acceptable future.
  • Joel Corney – Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Professor Elizabeth Coulson – Head of School, Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr Anne Covill – Operations Manager, Science Faculty, School of Veterinary Science
    As a member of Vet School Equity and Diversity Committee and a UQ staff member with a significant HR role I am all too aware of issues surrounding women and equity at UQ and the broader community. I am passionate in regards to promoting gender equity and diversity.
  • Emma Crawford – Lecturer, SHRS
  • Dr Noni Creasey – NIF Engagement Manager, PVCRI
  • Dr Caitlin Curtis – Research Fellow, School of Business
  • Matthew Davis – Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics
    I stand for gender equality.
  • Tamara Davis – Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics
    Issues get resolved much more effectively when people are aware of them.
  • Marie de Groot – Manager Records Governance & Management, Records Management and Advisory Services
    I am proud, humbled and excited to work at UQ and in my field, where leadership thought and programs are premised around gender balance and diversity, which ALL and TOGETHER contribute to the true essence of humankinds’ knowledge and skills and which continue to evolve and grow worldly wisdom and actions.
  • Professor Bernard Degnan – Director, Centre for Marine Science, School of Biological Sciences
  • Professor Sandie M Degnan – Professor, Director of Research Training, School of Biological Sciences
  • Marloes Nitert Dekker – Senior Lecturer, SCMB
    The only way to change unconscious bias is by raising awareness. Then we can make the changes that increase equity for everyone.
  • Jane Dermody – HR Advisor, Business, Economics and Law
  • Vanessa Di Giglio – General Services Assistant, School of Maths and Physics
    I want to see, encourage and support equality and diversity in all facets of my professional and personal life.
  • Bronwyn Diffey – Faculty Executive Manager, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    Gender equity and equal representative is the only way to ensure women have contribute equally to ideas, directions and critical analysis of and for society.
  • Annette Dobson – Professor of Biostatistics, School of Public Health
    I value equity.
  • Meg Donovan – PhD student, UQ Diamantina Institute, Faculty of Medicine
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Dimity Dornan AO – Adjunct Associate Professor, UQ Senate and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
    I believe in equity for all women and men.
  • Dr Heather Douglas – Industry Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, SMI
    Equity improves wellbeing for everyone
  • Daphne Drewes – Associate Director, Enterprise Risk Services, Governance & Risk
    Hearing the voices of just 50% of our population means we're missing the opportunity to enrich our conversations via women sharing their opinions, ideas and insights, to provide a more holistic view, to the benefit of us all.
  • Professor Michael Drinkwater – Associate Dean (Academic), Faculty of Science
  • Donna Duke – HR Advisor, HASS
  • Jeffrey Dullaway – HR Relationship Manager, Human Resources
    Advocating for gender balance and diversity is an important issue for me personally.
  • Elizabeth Dun – UQ Amplify Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences
  • Chelse Dunne – HR Relationship Manager, HR Services / Faculty of HaBS Professional Services Team
  • Professor Elizabeth Eakin – Head of School, School of Public Health
  • Liz Eden – Communications and Events Officer, ITaLI and QAAFI
    I am in a position to support women in academia by sharing their success stories and opportunities for professional development.
  • Professor Di Eley – Director of MD Research, Office of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine
    It is heartening to see this initiative become such a significant part of UQ’s values, and a privilege to endorse, and become part of improving our attitudes and ways of understanding true equity and diversity.
  • Dr Elizabeth Edwards – Senior Lecturer, School of Education
    Equity makes our communities stronger.
  • Mr Fabby H Ernesta – Director, Property & Facilities Division
    I took the Merle Pledge because I strongly believe in and stand for equality, inclusion and diversity.
  • Dr Adam Ewing– Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Mater Research Institute – UQ
  • Dr Jasmina Fejzić – Lecturer, Pharmacy
    Equality is great, and equity would be holy. I took the Merle Pledge because I am an ethnic women in academia and still very much full of hope.
  • Dr Laura Fenlon – Research Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute
    The research community and scientific progress is better with equity and diversity of scientists.
  • Emeritus Professor Carole Ferrier – Emeritus Professor, School of Communication and Arts
    I worked with Merle building the Women's Studies course, joint first in 1972 in Australia. This grew to a Major, cross-institutional Major, Honours. Merle was in the group founding Hecate: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Women's Liberation that I have edited for 45 years. She was a pioneer in many things.
  • Melissa Figueroa – Acting HR Business Partner, BEL Human Resources
  • Dr Marina Fortes – Senior Lecturer, SCMB, UQ – QAAFI affiliate
    I want to actively encourage gender diversity and inclusion in science.
  • Professor Kirsty Foster OAM – Director, Office of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine
    Throughout 40 years of working in medicine and medical education I have seen much progress towards gender equity for women - but there is still a way to go. The Merle Pledge is a way everyone can participate to meaningfully raise this issue and make a difference.
  • Professor Craig E Franklin – Deputy President of Academic Board & Professor in Biological Sciences, Office of Academic Board and School of Biological Sciences
    This pledge upholds, promotes and acknowledges key values that are of personal and professional significance to me. Equality and equity are paramount to ensuring an inclusive and diverse workplace, and communities more broadly. For me, promoting the core principles emboided in the Merle Pledge enriches my beliefs and values, and encourages me to communicate them.
  • Professor Ian Frazer AC – Professor, Faculty of Medicine
  • Janet Frizzarin – UQ2U Program Manager, Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation
    Because in the past few years great progress has been made towards gender equality by stalwarts like Merle Thornton AM and Ruth Bader Ginsburg but there is still work to be done. It is up to all of us to continue advocating for our rights and our voice.
  • Richard Fuller – Professor, School of Biological Sciences
  • Claire Fuller – Project Coordinator, Biological Sciences
  • Professor Brenda Gannon – Professor, School of Economics and affiliate of the Centre for the Business and Economics of Health
    In the discipline of economics, which has been predominately male focused in the past, at UQ we now strive to ensure more females enter the discipline at all levels for both students and staff. Being the first female Professor in the School of Economics (appointed 2018), I am pleased to lead the way forward for all female economists.
  • Kriti Garg – Administrative Officer, Human Resources
    I stand on the sacrifices of a million women before me thinking 'what can I do to make this mountain taller so that the women after me can see farther'? (Rupi Kaur) Anything and everything that uplifts and gives women the equality we have deserved since so long, without asking for it.
  • Dr Fleur Garton – Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
    I believe in equity for all and am very happy to support initiatives that advocate for this to occur.
  • Katrina Geary – Training and Regulatory Compliance, UQ Biological Resources
    I believe in uplifting everyone in society to live their best life.
  • Professor Katharine Gelber – Head of School, School of Political Science and International Studies
  • Deanne 'Dee' Gibbon – Associate Director, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources
    Despite progress towards gender equity in some areas, many of the academic and non-academic conferences and panels remain heavily male-dominated; particularly in STEMM fields. The Merle Pledge enables UQ leaders and staff to take action within their own sphere of influence, to encourage improved representation by women and other underrepresented genders. I am extremely proud of UQ for creating this important initiative.
  • Rebecca de Gier – Nurse manager, School of Veterinary Science
  • Mashhuda Glencross – Senior Lecturer, ITEE
    The best and brightest is often code for the most visible speakers. In STEM, these remain primarily male, yet diversity of people, perspectives, and research brings wider views to the table at professional events. This stimulates innovative thinking. How can we create impact, when we aren’t invited to the table?
  • Melissa Glendenning – Deputy Director (Operations), Sustainable Minerals Institute
    We need to be active to ensure we make progress with gender balance and diversity representation in public and professional forums.
  • Maria Natividad Gomez Cerezo – Postodoctoral Research Fellow, School of Dentistry
    Because the gender equality it is still a challenge that we have to address.
  • Cecilia González Tokman – Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Candice Michelle Goodwin – Outreach Manager, CMM
    I am a woman in STEM having spent many years advocating for gender equality and inspiring young girls to be anything they want to be. I fully support UQ's initiative!
  • Aswathi Gopalakrishnan – HDR candidate, Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    A woman's voice is often left unheard in different walks of life. I feel I need to stand up for my rights and need not feel inferior to anyone. I feel a woman's aspirations should never be limited by her gender, colour, race or ethinicity.
  • Morgan Goulding – Senior Marketing Officer, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
    I am committed to advocating for gender balance to improve women's representation across the board.
  • Ben Graham – Project Officer, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Professor Joseph Grotowski – Head of School, School of Mathematics and Physics
    This is an important, practical contribution towards gender equality.
  • Alexandra Grutter – Honorary Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences
  • Stéphane Guillou – Technology Trainer, Library
    This self-sustaining imbalance will not be solved without radical action, as the past has shown.
  • Dr Karan Gulati – NHMRC Early Career Fellow, School of Dentistry
    I believe in equality and I am aware that gender imbalance still exists in academia and research. We need to act on it NOW!
  • Dr Nina Hall – Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health
    I am a woman and a mother, and the privileges that allow me to also be a fulltime academic have been hard won by the sisters who came before me. I do not want these rights to be eroded- but instead enhanced.
  • Associate Professor Emma Hamilton-Williams – Associate Professor, UQ Diamantina Institute, Faculty of Medicine
    I am passionate about increasing gender equity in science.
  • Pingping Han – Post-Doc, School of Dentistry
    It is important to have gender equity across all the fields within UQ.
  • Greg Hainge – Professor, School of Languages and Cultures
  • Julia Harris – HR Business Partner, Human Resources
    We have the opportunity to make change now so that future generations do not share the same challenges.
  • Simon Hart – Lecturer, Biological Sciences
  • Associate Professor Sumaira Z Hasnain – Associate Professor, MRI-UQ
    I believe that equity, diversity and inclusion are not only important for fairness but also integral to achieving a more creative, more diligent and more hard-working work environment. A more diverse workplace results in enhanced innovation which is professionally important to me. Personally, as a woman in STEM, a Muslim, with a Pakistani background and primary carer responsibility of two children under five years of age – it has been hard to find role models with the same background especially within the research community. Making the workplace more equitable is very important to me.
  • Dr April Hastwell – ARC DECRA Research Fellow, SAFS
    My effort will ensure that future women will not have to go the extra mile to be recognised.
  • Professor Paul Henman – Professor of Digital Sociology and Social Policy, School of Social Science
  • Dr Sara Herke – Lecturer, School of Mathematics and Physics
    As a woman in mathematics, gender equity is important to me. I want to do what I can to drive change in this direction, not just for gender equity but for diversity and inclusion more broadly.
  • Liliana Hernandez – Human Resources Business Partner, HR - Central Pst
  • Professor Louise Hickson – Associate Dean External Engagement, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
    Affirmative actions associated with the pledge will help to achieve gender equality.
  • Lizanne Holt – HR Business Partner, Human Resources
    I am taking the Merle Pledge because I believe in giving value to every human being, no matter our differences. I stand for gender equality, inclusion and diversity.
  • Louise Hope – Associate Director, Finance
    I believe that a diverse range of voices is required to achieve progress, truth and equitable lives for all of Australia.
  • Sepanta Hosseinpour Dougolsar – PhD Student, School of Dentistry
    I am proud to take the Merle pledge because it is the right thing for the whole society.
  • Helen Hume – Deputy Director Operations, Queensland Brain Institute
    Equality matters and I want to play my part to create change.
  • Ms R A (Beck) Hurst – Manager, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH)
    I'm taking the Merle Pledge because so many women have fought so hard for so long for recognition and equality. This honours them, and reminds us all of how far we have to go. We need our brothers to commit to, and take the issue seriously.
  • Khela Hutchinson – Recruitment Advisor, People Services Unit
    I am committed to supporting gender equality and amplifying the voices, experiences and contributions of women. Our strength not only as an organisation but as a society lies in our diversity.
  • Saso Ivanovski – Professor, School of Dentistry
    This is an important issue that requires active advocacy and action.
  • Alexander Jackson – HR Business Partner, Human Resources
    Gender equality can only make us stronger as a society.
  • Anjana Jayasree – PhD student, School of Dentistry
  • Dr Dhanisha Jhaveri – Senior Research Fellow, Mater Research Institute – UQ
    The Merle Pledge will power the change, providing opportunities and support to realise true potential.
  • Stephanie Jillett – Deputy Director (Operations), Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    I am proud to pledge and continue to strongly advocate for gender balance and diversity.
  • Charlotte Johnson – Industry Engagement Manager, School of Business
    By taking this pledge, I commit to promote the representation of women and ensure that the necessary care is applied to offer them panel seats and future opportunities. I strongly value the diversity of views and believe that a holistic and inclusive approach leads to the best outcome.
  • Associate Professor Karyn Johnson – Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences
  • Professor Salit Kark – Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science
    I am taking this pledge because women have outstanding talent, knowledge, leadership skills and passion. When society becomes more aware, inclusive and equitable, and women are provided with opportunities, they will have a much bigger impact on science, education and society. If we all make an effort to be inclusive and aware of the importance of enhancing gender balance and diversity, we will all greatly benefit from this and provide opportunities for future generations.
  • Associate Professor Tim Kastelle – Associate Professor, Business School
    Equity is important.
  • Professor Lydia Kavanagh – Deputy Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Science
    Gender equality is necessary for us to be able to realise human rights for all (i.e. we should have the same opportunities, and rights regardless of gender).
  • Justine Kay – HR Relationship Manager, Human Resources
  • Professor Deanna Kemp – Associate Professor, Sustainable Minerals Institute
    This pledge provides the extra impetus that we sometimes need to 'speak up' and openly advocate for better gender balance.
  • Melissa Kerr – Professor , UQDI
  • Dr James Kesby​ – UQ Amplify Researcher, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Professor Glenn King – Professor, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
  • Professor Ryan Ko – Chair and Director - UQ Cyber Security, ITEE
    As a professor to several students and an advisor and director to several organisations, I wish to lead by example. The IT and Cyber Security sectors have a lot of room for improvement in the area of gender diversity. Only 24 per cent of the cyber security sector worldwide are women, and improvements will only happen when every individual commits to gender diversity.
  • Dr Necla Asli Kocak Oztug – Visiting Post-Doc Research Fellow, School of Dentistry
    I’m taking the Merle Pledge because we need a gender equality in every occupation now more than ever.
  • Dr Jitka Kochanek – Research Scientist, AIBN
    I am a female scientist with 20 years of research experience. A welcoming and empathetic environment for women in research, particularly after having children, will keep women in science and help to shape the future of Australia. Since becoming a mum I have become a better leader, with more empathy and focus - and the story is the same for all women. I am excited to be part of a fairer and kinder future for the young women of tomorrow.
  • Vithya Krishnan – PhD student, SAFS
    Gender equality should not be up for debate.
  • Louise Kuchel – Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences
    Outcomes are always best when there is a diversity of perspectives, approaches and values in the mix.
  • Ratilal Lalloo – Associate Professor, School of Dentistry
  • Mrs Kim Lamb – School Manager, School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
    It is important that all people be treated equitably regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnicity.
  • James A. T. Lancaster – Lecturer, HASS
    Because I want the voices of my wife and daughter to be heard and respected no less than my own.
  • Jan Lauko – Research Ops. Manager, AIBN
    I am committed to be a champion of gender diversity, not only at AIBN, where I am a member of the GED committee, but also in broader scientific community, across UQ as well as at public forums and other committees I am or will be a part of in the future.
  • David Lavell – Associate Director, Integrity and Investigations Unit
    I believe strongly in gender equity and will do all I can to ensure it is followed.
  • Camille Layt – Corporate Publications Manager, Marketing and Communication
    Diversity breeds strength in any context, which is why any initiative such as this is so important to advance towards gender equity. As a member of the SAGE Athena SWAN team at UQ, achieving this is something I'm passionate about and proud to support.
  • Dr Andrew Letten – Lecturer, BIOL
  • Dr Jacques Liebenberg – Director, Strategic Program Office
    A diverse team and workplace is a key ingredient for any high achieving organisation. Having different views and perspectives from both genders are very important to ensure the best possible solution or approach is introduced and followed. In particular, as a senior leader it is my obligation to lead by example and promote the participation of women in professional forums and other work related activities.
  • Dr Junxian Lim – Research Officer, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
  • Dr Michael Limerick – Adjunct Associate Professor, Institute for Social Science Research
    Inspired by my mother's lifelong advocacy of gender equality, I want to do my part to encourage the organisations I work with to be more inclusive of women. I am hoping for a world where my two daughters will have the same opportunities as my son to participate in and contribute to public and professional life.
  • Dr Emma Livingstone – Research Administration Officer, Office of Sponsored Research
    I believe in diversity and inclusion in all spaces.
  • Alexandra Longworth – Project Director, MD Design Project, Faculty of Medicine
    I am passionate about diversity and equality in our society.
  • Professor Winnifred Louis – Professor, Psychology
    Allowing a diversity of voices to be heard is important for justice and for wise, informed decision-making.
  • Professor Linda Lua – Director, UQ Protein Expression Facility
    This is a small step in the right direction and an important one that has big impact.
  • Dr Petra Lundgren – Innovation Broker, DVCR
    Equity, in every sense, is fundamental to the progression of a just and thriving world.
  • Tanya Lutvey – Senior Manager, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
    I took the Merle Pledge because as a young female scientist, it is important I encourage diversity and equality from the very beginning of my career.
  • Associate Professor Katie Makar – Associate Professor, School of Education (HASS)
    Gender equity is evidence that women are valued in academia and ensures a range of voices, perspectives and advocacy for women in society.
  • Sachithrani Umanda Madugalle – Graduate student, Queensland Brain Institute
    Diverse voices, including women's, are too often diluted by men's voices or worse, excluded altogether from public discussions. We need to start making people accountable for this significant gap.
  • Dr Russell Manfield – Lecturer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Business School
  • Krista Markham – Careers Advisor, Student Employability Centre
    Representation matters.
  • Nicholas Marshall – Student Experience Officer, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    Gender balance and diversity is key to the development of a rich society.
  • Professor Barbara Masser – Professor , School of Psychology
  • Dr Eve Massingham – Senior Research Fellow, Law School
  • Dr Carmen Mathmann – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UQ Diamantina Institute
  • Professor Jason Mattingley – Professor, Queensland Brain Institute and School of Psychology
  • Professor Margaret Mayfield – Professor and Head of School, School of Biological Sciences
  • David Mayocchi – Executive Manager, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
    Gender equality will Create Change. That's what Merle showed me.
  • Colleen McAleese – HR Relationship Manager (Acting), Human Resources
  • Ross McAree – Head of School, Mechanical and Mining Engineering
    As a Mechanical Engineer, I work in a profession whose demographic is male dominated. The number of female students studying in the School and the number of female academic staff employed by the School is about 10%. I and many of my colleagues feel this level of participation unacceptable. I am taking the Merle Pledge because it actively asserts that we need to change the way we do things to redress the balance for a better UQ.
  • Dr Amy McCart Reed – Research Fellow, UQCCR
  • Jordan McCarthy – Senior Manager, Marketing and Engagement, Business School
    Supporting women into senior leadership through education is a strategic priority of The University of Queensland Business School and one of the key reasons why I am passionate about my role.
  • Diana McCluskey – Graduate Centre Manager, Graduate Centre in Governance and International Affairs
    We hold many events and these need to be gender balanced. Supporting women in our School and Centre to participate in all opportunities to showcase their work.
  • Zoe McDonald – Donor Relations Officer, Alumni Relations & Engagement
    We have come a long way in improving women's visibility and inclusion in society, but there is still a way to go. I am committed to improving things for my generation and for those to come.
  • Dominic McGrath – Teaching and Learning Manager, Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI)
  • Aideen McInerney-Leo – NHMRC Research Fellow, UQDI
    I am a strong believer in encouraging and empowering women to contribute.
  • Associate Professor Erin McMeniman – Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Dermatology Research Centre
  • Rev. Dr Anita Monro – Honorary Research Senior Fellow & Head of Residential College, History & Philosophical Inquiry; Grace College
  • Professor Greg Monteith – Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
    I have seen how better representation at conferences and events, improves the scientific quality of events.
  • Joanne Nitz – Director of Advancement, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    I have experienced gender inequality within a past work environment - something I will never forget. I'm proud to sign the Merle Pledge and I will endeavour to do all that I can to uphold the commitments.
  • John O'Brien – Manager, Client Solutions – Planning and Business Intelligence
    I want to be proactive in addressing the discrimination that's faced by many of my non-male colleagues due to gender equity issues that persist at UQ.
  • Shannon O'Brien – Learning Designer, ITaLI
  • Carlos Miraldo Ordens – Research Fellow, UQ
    Because I stand for equity.
  • Angela O'Sullivan – Associate Director, Commercial Engagement, UniQuest
  • Dr Caoimhe O'Sullivan –Associate Clinical Lecturer, Mater Clinical Unit
  • Rachel Oh – PhD candidate, Biological Sciences
  • Marlin Othman – Advancement Officer, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
    The pledge is important to me because diversity and inclusivity cannot exist until there is a level playing field and a level playing field can only be achieved through equal representation. When every person of varying background and gender is represented, the empowerment it creates is immeasurable. The more we are all seen on a platform, the power of believe is achieved which abolishes sexism, racism and the division of equality.
  • Professor Nancy A. Pachana – Professor of Clinical Geropsychology, School of Psychology
    There have been many instances in my personal and professional life where strong women's actions and voices smoothed my path and enabled me to reach my goals. I have always sought to do the same for other women, and am proud to take this pledge in the name of a courageous and inspiring role model, Merle Thornton.
  • Deb Palmer – Manager Indigenous Employment, Human Resources, Workplace Diversity & Inclusion
    I will be taking the Merle pledge to show my support in increasing women's representation and supporting the Diversity and Inclusion within UQ.
  • Professor John Pandolfi – Professor, School of Biological Sciences
    I support initiatives that help to level the playing field for women and other underrepresented groups to achieve their aspirations based on merit and equal opportunity.
  • Donna Parker – Lecturer, School of Veterinary Science
  • Polly Parker – Associate Dean (Academic), Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    I believe in and commit to equitable representation in all activities and events at UQ to demonstrate a broader aim for an inclusive and balanced society.
  • Dr Louisa Parkinson – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
    I believe in and commit to equitable representation in all activities and events at UQ to demonstrate a broader aim for an inclusive and balanced society.
  • Mrs Sheela Paul – TPP Teacher, UQ College
    My aspiration to take up research in Electronics was curtailed by lack of flexibility and opportunity for a new mother and a new migrant, trying to balance the work-family act. I would like this to change, especially being the mother of a girl, I would like my own daughter and her peers to reach for the skies and come out with flying colours with all our support, all the way.
  • Joanne Paxton – Course Coordinator, School of Education
    Feminism is for everyone.
  • Brett Pelttari – Recruitment Advisor, Human Resources
    Recruitment is in a unique position to influence increased women's representation in various roles at UQ and it's a position I'm pleased to be in. As a feminist, I'm proud to support this initiative and pledge that I will personally keep working to ensure increased engagement of strong and capable women at our University.
  • Jill Penridge – Institute Manager, UQ Diamantina Institute
    I believe that diverse views and experiences lead to the most robust solutions.
  • Allison Pettit – Professor, Mater Research Institute – UQ
    I'm taking the Merle Pledge because I wish to participate in the most innovative and high quality forums and conferences.
  • Professor Stuart Phinn – Professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Changing the current approaches and level of diversity in all areas research, teaching, government and industry is essential for the well being of our societies and environment.
  • Dr Lisa Claire Pope – Analysis and Development Coordinator, Institute for Social Science Research
    I organise training for PhD students, including panels, and want to ensure diverse views are represented.
  • Loretta Porche – Integrated Planning and Performance Manager, Marketing and Communication
  • Professor Ben Powell – Professor, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Clare Primiero – Clinical Research Coordinator, UQ Diamantina Institute
    I took the Merle Pledge to advocate for gender balance and increasing diversity in panel/forum representatives.
  • Artem Pulemotov – Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Associate Professor Kym Rae – Associate Professor, Mater Research Institute
    I support the equity and equality of women in all forums. Additionally, I pledge to support the representation of women from; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, other cultures and women with disabilities to be heard.
  • Andrew Redmond – Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Medicine
    Women's contributions have been overlooked for too long and I can play my part in redressing that injustice.
  • Siobhan Remy – Marketing and Communications Officer, AIBN
    Everyone has their own unique perspectives, and by increasing the volume and variety of diverse voices, we can better approach problems with innovate solutions.
  • Cynthia Riginos – Professor, School of Biological Sciences
  • Professor Brent Ritchie – Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    It is extremely important that gender diversity and representation of females is taken into account in any conference or event participation. Without representation female voices can't be heard and perspectives taken into account.
  • Sarah Roberts-Thomson – Professor and Head of School, Pharmacy
    We need positive action to increase the representation of women across all aspects of life in Australia. Equity doesn't occur without meaningful actions.
  • Dr Jacquiline Romero – Senior Lecturer and Westpac Research Fellow, SMP
    I'm taking the Merle Pledge because changing the current inequity in our culture is everyone's responsibility. Join us!
  • Professor Susan Rowland – Professor, Faculty of Science
    Everybody should have representation and a voice.
  • Professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop – Director of EQUS Translational Research Laboratory, School of Mathematics and Physics
    I am taking the Merle Pledge because it is a right moment to commit to more action, in particular for action to reduce inequality everywhere. The strength will come from equity and diversity.
  • Megha Samtani – Procurement Manager, Finance & Business Services
    Gender equality should not have been an issue in the first place, it should have always existed to establish a sustainable and fair society.
  • Professor Susanne Schmitt – Professor, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
    In the male dominated field of agriculture, there is room for a greater participation of women as leaders and decision makers. Appreciation of the contribution of women and equal opportunity is crucial for our future.
  • Ethan Scott – Associate Professor, Queensland Brain Institute
    This is a small gesture, but hopefully one that can change the balance in important ways. Invited talks build speakers' careers, promote speakers' research, and form young scientists' images of who is important and valued in our community. They must be balanced.
  • Paul Sheeran – Associate Director, Information Technology Services
    I'm taking the Merle Pledge because everyone should.
  • Dr Pavla Simerska – Written Assessment Lead, Office of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine
    I'm taking the Merle Pledge because I believe it is important to support gender balance.
  • Aditi Singhal – Concierge Assistant (Student Services), Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
    The Merle Pledge aligns with my line of study as a future Counsellor. As someone who learns about the uniqueness and diversity each mind brings to the therapy session, I have a greater appreciation for the strengths and skillset individuals hold. It is through the Merle Pledge that I seek to endorse equality across all areas of incredible work that people within and beyond UQ are doing to create change in the world.
  • Associate Professor Graeme Smith – Associate Professor, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
  • Dr Emma Somogyi – Learning Designer, ITaLI
  • Professor H. Peter Soyer – Professor, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Dermatology Research Centre
    I took the Merle Pledge because I stand for gender equality.
  • Ilaria Stefani – Business Manager, QAAFI
    I hope my child will live in an unbiased future, where this kind of pledge won't be needed.
  • Gary Stefano – Associate Director, Information Technology Services
    I have been committed to this goal for many years and actively try to support my team to achieve a more inclusive community. Women in IT is a good example of actively encouraging staff to take the time and build networks that support their careers and aspirations. Providing internal opportunities to develop skills and enhance employment prospects. I am in the fortuitous position in ITS to have a very diverse team with many young people starting careers. This allows me to understand and develop team members and put the structure around them to succeed. This is important to me to ensure that this has longevity and my management team will see the value in a diverse community for teams and all our responsibilities to ensure equity.
  • Nick Stenson – Organisational Design and Effectiveness Specialist, Human Resources
    As a man, I can (and will) be an ally and champion, but I recognise that I cannot be an example the same way another woman can. By providing more visible examples of women in leadership, we challenge the traditional image of what a leader 'looks like' and expand career options for our female colleagues.
  • Allison Stewart – Senior Lecturer Equine Medicine, UQ-VETS Equine Specialist Hospital
    Although veterinary medicine has been predominantly female for over 30 years, there is still a dominance of men in leadership roles, especially within academia and practice partnerships. Unfortunately many are rewarded in leadership roles by claiming the credit of those who toil in the trenches.
  • Teneale Stewart – Research Officer, Faculty of Medicine
    Representation is hugely important. When we view the composition of panel or committee, we often view (whether consciously or subconsciously) our future potential. A reality where panels are gender balanced and inclusive of people of colour and those identifying as LGBTQIA+ has the potential to be life changing for many.
  • Deanne Strachan – Manager, Student Experience (Student Support), Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    Gender discrimination affects everyone and we need to do all that we can to ensure we have equal representation and opportunity.
  • Karen Stuggins – Research Administration Officer, Office of Sponsored Research
    I strongly believe we need to encourage women to speak up and voice their opinions, particularly in situations where they have felt intimidated in the past due to their gender.
  • Kathryn Sturman – Senior Research Fellow, SMI
    I want to hear as many women's opinions as men's on every subject. I notice men my age assuming leadership positions while women step aside or wait to be recognised as experts. I hope this pledge will see more women invited to share their expertise.
  • Angie Sturrock – Athena SWAN Data and Report Consultant, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
    It is right. It is important.
  • Dr Rodrigo Suarez – UQ Amplify Research Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute
    It is a significant little step in the right direction!
  • Dr Yasmina Sultanbawa – Associate Professor, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
    Gender Diversity in an organisation enhances creativity, builds smarter, inclusive, caring and productive teams.
  • Dr Alex Tam – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Matthew Taylor – Video Production Manager, Marketing and Communication
  • Karen Teitzel – Office Manager, Business School
    I truly believe in gender equality and as a mother of a teenage daughter I would like to part of a movement that encourages female participation in all levels of Business and Government.
  • Patrick Testa – Executive Manager, Faculty of Science
    Women's experiences and voices should be heard in the life of an organisation, especially a university.
  • Amy Thams – Project Officer, Office of the Provost
  • Bronte Thompson – School Liaison Officer, Future Students Australia
    I am passionate about gender equality and believe it is important for our future success in every industry.
  • Ian Thompson, APM – Project Coordinator, Ability Schools Engagement Program, School of Social Sciences
    As an advocate of equality throughout my working career in the public sector I believe it is important to continue to champion fair representation and equality of women, gender diversity and driving change in the workplace. Taking this pledge and publicly committing to it will focus others on continuing to champion change.
  • Professor Karen Thorpe – Professor, Institute for Social Science Research
    Finding a voice for women requires having fair representation of women in all walks of life and particularly in those that are most influential.
  • Jess Torpey – Change Lead, Strategic Program Office
    We need to constantly push the boundaries and speak up because you can't treat inequality equally!
  • Gabrielle Trubshaw – Administration Assistant, Property & Facilities
    I believe in gender equality, particularly in a male dominated industry (construction/engineering).
  • Dr Stephen Tucker – Lecturer, School of Education
  • Susannah Tye – Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland
    I am committed to supporting and encouraging gender equality in my work group, institution and scientific field.
  • Professor Richard Valenta – Director, WH Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre
    Taking this stand is the best way for us to reach these gender equity and diversity objectives.
  • Associate Professor Elske van de Fliert – Associate Professor, Centre for Communication and Social Change, School of Communication and Arts
    I value equity, diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Jane van Kester – Program Manager, BPDA, ITS
    Having equality in all facets of life should be the norm.
  • Gilles Vanwalleghem – Post-Doc, Queensland Brain Institute
    Gender equality should have happened decades ago.
  • Cedryck Vaquette – Post-Doc fellow, HABS, School of Dentistry
    I support gender equality.
  • Anand Veeraragavan – Associate Professor, School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering
    I think it takes a concerted and sustained effort to overcome and improve from the current poor gender representation across a broad spectrum of fields and activities.
  • Bronwyn Venus – Research Partnerships Manager, QAAFI
    The absence of women at professional forums is a problem because speakers are usually male, so audiences are given an exclusive perspective. The lack of diversity limits the quality of the conversation. When visible role models are male, absence of women perpetuates absence of women. Fewer women choose to speak, and fewer are chosen. Compounding this problem is that without the opportunity to serve on panels women lack profile-building opportunities, which is an important contributor to experience and recognition.
  • Alan Victor – Health Safety and Wellness Coordinator, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Regardless of job, task or position, women should be given the opportunity to 'have a go'. They should also be appraised and rewarded without gender bias..
  • Dr Adam Walker – Senior Research Fellow, Queensland Brain Institute
    Diversity is important and we must all make active efforts to confront bias and drive change to increase women's representation.
  • Dr Nicole Walker – Dr, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
    Inequality has such negative consequences. Historically, when we work together we have overcome great adversity and initiated change. The Merle pledge unites us with steps towards change.
  • Ruby Wallace – Content Development Officer, Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship
    Representation matters.
  • Dr Ann Wallin – Lecturer, Business School
    Diversity and equity are fundamental principles required to respond and adapt to our future challenges. I am committed to supporting gender equity as a small step on the path towards a more equitable future.
  • Tillie Walsh – Manager, Careers Team, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
    This is something very close to my heart. The impact that a diverse group of people, with diverse experiences and skills sets bring can only bring exceptional outcomes for an organisation.
  • Siyu Wang – Senior Manager, Global Strategy and Partnerships (acting), Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship
    I support gender equality and strongly support women in professional workplaces, particularly working mothers, single mums and women with disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Dr Selina Ward – Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences
    Because without this level of equity we miss out on so much talent. It is time to reconsider what we look for in leadership and management styles for better results and fresh new thinking and approaches.
  • Vanetta Warren – HR Advisor, Central Services
    With a history working in male dominated industries, I am a strong advocate for promoting women in these fields in an effort to increase diversity and promote the many benefits of this to organisations.
  • Sarah Waters – Administration Officer, ASD Examinations
    We all deserve to have equal opportunities.
  • Roger Wepf – Director, Center for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM)
    I took the Merle Pledge because it is the right thing to do and sometimes liberation for equal opportunities needs an "equity lift".
  • Dr Ellen Wessel – Lecturer, School of Public Health
  • Rachel Westbury – Publications Editor, Marketing and Communication
    Women represent half of the world's population, and it's so incredibly important that events in the professional domain reflect this gender balance.
  • Kate Whelan – Strategic Projects Officer, Global Engagement & Entrepreneurship
    Championing representation of women and gender diversity is vital to fostering an equitable, inclusive and healthy culture. When voices and perspectives that reflect society in all its shapes and forms are valued and included, society as a whole benefits. Affirmative action can be instrumental in removing barriers to participation and effecting positive change.
  • Professor Andrew White – Director, Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems, Faculty of Science
    Every year on (or near) 31st March I show my first-year students photos of Rosalie Bognor & Merle Thornton when at UQ, shock the students with the law at the time, and discuss how as university students *they* will go on to change the world for the better. I highlight that within 50 years Queensland had:
    • the first majority female ministry in Australia
    • the first female party leader to win from opposition
    • the only state with two female premiers.
  • Kim Wilkins – Associate Professor, Communication and Arts
  • Shelley Wilkinson – Associate Professor, Human Movements and Nutrition Sciences
  • Professor David John Williams – Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, The University of Queensland
    By embracing gender equality, we maximise the potential to have the very best contributions to society possible!
  • Stephen Williams – Deputy Director, QAAFI (Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation)
  • Dr Dino Willox – Director, Student Employability – Student Affairs Division
    "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced" James Baldwin.
    If we fail to act or use our voice to challenge systems of inequity and injustice then we are complicit in their maintenance.
  • Ms Madonna Witham – Duchesne - Residential College
  • Jennifer Witheriff – Organisational development consultant, Human Resources
    The richness of women’s voices needs to be heard in all forums of influence and power.
  • Rebekah Woodward – Information and Knowledge Management Coordinator, Business School
  • Mehmet Yildirimoglu – Lecturer, School of Civil Engineering
  • Esmi Zajaczkowski – PhD Student, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Angelique Zamora – Associate Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
    I believe voices should be heard and listened to equally, regardless of gender.

Want to get involved in staff diversity and inclusion initiatives at UQ?

The UQ Gender Steering Committee welcomes feedback and suggestions from UQ staff.

ideals@uq.edu.au