Top universities for tackling gender equality

Explore the top 100 universities for gender equality based on data collected for the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings

April 22 2020
Top universities for gender equality

Gender equality is one of the key challenges facing society today. Across the world it manifests in many ways including pay, employment opportunities and access to education.

The United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) look to tackle some of today’s biggest global issues and SDG 5 aims to address the issue of gender equality. 

As part of the Impact RankingsTimes Higher Education has produced a ranking focusing on how universities are contributing to gender equality. Some of the measures looked at as part of the ranking are research on gender, policies on gender equality, commitment to recruiting and promoting women, the proportion of first-generation female students and student access measures. You can read more about the methodology here

Top five universities for gender equality

1. La Trobe University

La Trobe University has a number of initiatives that drive gender equality, including the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, SAGE Pilot (an accreditation and improvement programme for higher education research organisations focusing on gender equality) and Square the Ledger, which aims to celebrate the lives of women that have studied, taught and worked at the university.

La Trobe vice-chancellor John Dewar has stated that he is “deeply committed to achieving gender equality in all areas of university life” including equal representation of women in senior leadership roles and across all schools and departments.

2. Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University was awarded an employer of choice for gender equality by the Federal Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The institution has held this title for the past 15 years. 

The university is also dedicated to combating sexual violence on campus through the development of a respectful relationships education programme to be implemented across the Australian university sector. 

A Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2020 has been implemented to focus on the areas where gender equality can be improved. One of the key aims for the plan is to support the university’s efforts in recruiting, retaining and helping female staff advance. Other measures that have been introduced in response to the plan are improved breastfeeding facilities on campus, additional leave for staff experiencing domestic violence, and the development of a Gender Equality Policy. 

3. Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin established the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership in 2017 to implement strategies to advance gender equality at the institution. 

The centre has hosted talks from many prominent and successful women, sponsors female staff to attend the Aurora Leadership Development Programme and grant writing workshops for female early career researchers.


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4. University of Bologna

The University of Bologna has developed a Gender Equality Plan to promote the careers of women and prevent the loss of talent through women dropping out of their jobs. 

As a commitment to SDG 5, the university plans to publish gender data annually, and establish a help desk for those students with LGBTQ+ concerns. 

The university also aims to launch projects together with the Civilian Police and the Women’s Refuge alongside various voluntary associations to ensure that students across the university are aware of gender violence. 

5. University of Worcester

The University of Worcester’s 2018 gender pay gap report stated that the institution’s mean gender pay gap was 2.09 per cent, which was far smaller than the UK’s national average of 17.9 per cent. 

The report also stated that 63 per cent of employees were women and that women are represented across all levels of seniority. 


Top universities for gender equality 2020: Top 100

Gender Equality Rank 2020 University Country/region
1 La Trobe University Australia
2 Western Sydney University Australia
3 Trinity College Dublin Republic of Ireland
4 University of Bologna Italy
5 University of Worcester United Kingdom
6 Charles Sturt University Australia
7 Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil
8 University of East London United Kingdom
9 University of Auckland New Zealand
10 York University Canada
11 Auckland University of Technology New Zealand
12 Glasgow Caledonian University United Kingdom
13 McMaster University Canada
14 University of Gothenburg Sweden
=15 University of L’Aquila Italy
=15 Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
=15 Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) Pakistan
18 University of Sydney Australia
19 IPB University Indonesia
20 University of Canberra Australia
21 Edith Cowan University Australia
22 King’s College London United Kingdom
23 Australian Catholic University Australia
=24 Charles Darwin University Australia
=24 Monash University Australia
=26 University of Maryland, Baltimore County United States
=26 Pompeu Fabra University Spain
28 University of Wollongong Australia
29 University of Bordeaux France
30 Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand
=31 University of Hamburg Germany
=31 University of Missouri-St Louis United States
33 University of Leeds United Kingdom
34 Maynooth University Republic of Ireland
35 Deakin University Australia
36 Altai State University Russian Federation
37 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
38 University of Aberdeen United Kingdom
39 De Montfort University United Kingdom
40 University of Toronto Canada
41 University of Jaén Spain
42 Queensland University of Technology Australia
=43 Dublin City University Republic of Ireland
=43 University of Rovira i Virgili Spain
45 University of Newcastle Australia
46 University of Geneva Switzerland
=47 Arizona State University (Tempe) United States
=47 Texas State University United States
49 University of the Basque Country Spain
50 Ewha Womans University South Korea
51 Massey University New Zealand
=52 Bucharest University of Economic Studies Romania
=52 University of Girona Spain
=54 American University United States
=54 University of British Columbia Canada
=54 University of Montreal Canada
57 Universitas Gadjah Mada Indonesia
58 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile
=59 Bangor University United Kingdom
=59 Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) Malaysia
=61 Laval University Canada
=61 University of Passau Germany
=63 University of Desarrollo Chile
=63 University of Manchester United Kingdom
65 University of Western Australia Australia
66 Universiti Sains Malaysia Malaysia
67 NOVA University of Lisbon Portugal
68 Loyola University New Orleans United States
=69 Federal University of Espírito Santo Brazil
=69 Iran University of Medical Sciences Iran
=69 London South Bank University United Kingdom
=69 National Autonomous University of Mexico Mexico
73 University of Indonesia Indonesia
74 Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia
75 University of Johannesburg South Africa
76 Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral Ecuador
=77 Bournemouth University United Kingdom
=77 University of Helsinki Finland
=77 Macquarie University Australia
80 Bath Spa University United Kingdom
=81 University of Cumbria United Kingdom
=81 UNSW Sydney Australia
=83 University of Limerick Republic of Ireland
=83 University of Malaga Spain
=83 Simon Fraser University Canada
86 National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Greece
87 University of Alcalá Spain
88 University of Westminster United Kingdom
=89 Concordia University Canada
=89 University of Padua Italy
91 University of Dundee United Kingdom
=92 University of Malaya Malaysia
=92 University of South Florida (Tampa) United States
=94 University of Lleida Spain
=94 University of Salamanca Spain
96 University of Valladolid Spain
=97 Aix-Marseille University France
=97 Wheaton College (Massachusetts) United States
99 Hacettepe University Turkey
=100 Central Queensland University Australia
=100 State University of Maringá Brazil

View the full ranking for gender equality here

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