Women-only posts target gender imbalance in Australian academy

University of Adelaide is latest institution to bar men from applying for specific roles

August 21, 2018
Women only

Australian universities are increasingly advertising women-only posts in a bid to address the gender imbalance in the academic workforce.

The University of Adelaide was the latest institution to use an exception in the Equal Opportunity Act to advertise roles for females, The Australian reported, offering eight positions at associate professor and lecturer level in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

This follows the University of Melbourne’s advertising of five women-only posts on International Women’s Day earlier this year. Monash University created three positions for women only in 2015 and a further two this year.

The Australian said that Australia’s Equal Opportunity Act states that actions that would otherwise be considered discriminatory are legal if they are designed to “ensure that persons of a particular sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status have equal opportunities with, respectively, all other persons”.

Peter Ashman, deputy dean of the Adelaide faculty, was quoted as saying that the move was “partly about us really trying to demonstrate to everybody, internally and externally, that we are taking this very seriously”.

chris.havergal@timeshighereducation.com

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