Invest in Women this International Women's Day

01 Mar 2024
Graphic with photos of speakers from the Consent Matters event and other events

Get involved with events and opportunities to learn more about the women working to create change in our UNSW community.

International Women’s Day, on Friday 8 March, is a time to celebrate women’s achievements and work to address barriers to gender equality.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, UNSW is adopting the UN theme: “Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress.”

The 2024 theme recognises that while important progress has been made, women still face significant obstacles to achieving equal participation in education, employment pathways, financial services and literacy. This International Women’s Day is a time to examine pathways to greater inclusion for women and girls everywhere.

As a leader in education and driver of change, UNSW is committed to a culture of inclusion and progress.

In 2018, UNSW received the SAGE Athena Swan Bronze Award for our work and ongoing commitment to advancing gender equity and diversity in higher education and research. After publishing our Athena Swan Action Plan (2018–2022), UNSW worked on the next phase of the program, which saw us receive the Cygnet Award for Academic Career Progression in mid 2023 and the Cygnet Award for Flexible Work and Care in late 2023. We look forward to updating you on further developments as the year progresses.

Last week, UNSW welcomed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s decision to publish gender pay gap results for organisations across Australia. This showed UNSW has a median total remuneration gender pay gap of just 1.4 per cent compared to the Australian average of 19 per cent. While this is a good result compared to the national and industry average, more needs to be done in this area to achieve gender equity.

Later this week, on International Women’s Day, UNSW will release its first Gender Equity Strategy, aligning efforts across Human Resources, faculties and divisions to ensure staff of all genders succeed at all levels of employment at UNSW. The new strategy supports the prioritisation of gender equality as critical to UNSW’s future state and emerging strategic priorities beyond 2025. More information on the new strategy will be shared in a future edition of Inside UNSW.

In the meantime, join us at the events taking place across the University this International Women’s Day. 

Liberating History: 50 Years of Tharunka’s “Women’s Issue” 

Wednesday 6 March – Friday 14 June | UNSW Paddington Library

Liberating History surveys the annual “Women’s Issue” volumes of Tharunka and explores shifting perspectives over the past 50 years on a range of socio-political and feminist topics, from the Women’s Liberation Movement advocating for gender equality to abortion rights, sexuality and discrimination. The materials in this display illustrate how UNSW students use publications to advocate for social change and transformative thinking.

Learn more about the display.

Consent Laid Bare | International Women’s Day Talk & Morning Tea

Thursday 7 March | 10am–11.15am | UNSW Roundhouse

UNSW’s headline International Women’s Day event will be a panel discussion with leading experts committed to ending gendered violence, examining how we can recentre sexual consent for everyone.

Join author and UNSW student activist Chanel Contos, gendered violence researcher Angela Griffin, First Nations lead of the First National LGBT+ Sistergirls and Brotherboys experiences with sexual violence survey Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat, and Chair of national violence prevention foundation Our Watch Moo Baulch to explore how we can use holistic approaches to community care when it comes to gendered violence.

This conversation will explore how we can make sexual consent a priority for everyone.

Register for Consent Laid Bare.

More women recognised as part of the Celebrating UNSW Women Trail

This International Women’s Day, spend some time exploring the Celebrating UNSW Women Trail and familiarise yourself with the incredible people who have made positive and enduring impacts on the UNSW community and society more broadly.

The trail, established in 2023 as part of the Celebrating UNSW Women on Campus project, honours our remarkable and diverse UNSW community by increasing the visibility of women across our built and virtual environments. Each year, the UNSW community is invited to nominate former students and staff to be added to the trail across the Kensington and Paddington campuses. Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations for the latest additions to the trail in 2024.

Some of the women being added this year include Laura Montague, a proud Barkindji woman and first Indigenous woman Chair of the Arc Board; the Hon. Gabrielle Upton, the first woman to be appointed NSW Attorney General and former UNSW Deputy Chancellor; and Dr Danielle McMullen, Vice President of the Australian Medical Association and a respected health leader during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the full list of women being added to the Women’s Trail in 2024:

  • Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm AM CSM (ADFA stop)
  • Laura Montague (Arc @ UNSW stop)
  • Felicity Greenway (Arts, Design & Architecture – Kensington stop)
  • The Hon. Gabrielle Upton (Chancellery stop)
  • Joan Bath (Engineering stop)
  • The Hon. Justice Margaret Stone (Law & Justice stop)
  • Dr Danielle McMullen (Medicine & Health stop)
  • Wendy Maher (Science stop)
  • Dr Jennifer (Jeni) Saunders (Sport stop).

Find the full IWD program on the EDI website

To learn more about events and activities happening at UNSW this International Women’s Day and UNSW initiatives relating to gender equity, visit the EDI website.

Learn about the UN theme on the UN Women Australia website.