Professor Julie Bines and 3 women in her lab

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) has been awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award by Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE).

The accolade has recognised MCRI’s efforts to drive organisational progress towards equity, diversity and inclusion.

The Bronze Award marks an institution’s commitment to dismantling gender-based barriers and helping to achieve systemic, structural and cultural change, using a personalised approach. SAGE also has a strong focus on intersectionality to ensure gender equity is achieved for all.

Andrea Frigo, MCRI Director of People & Culture, said creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace was known to boost productivity and creativity, increase retention and recruitment and support good governance.

“MCRI proudly maintains a 4:1 female-to-male academic ratio and supports the ambitions and innovations of female and gender diverse students, early to mid-career and established researchers across numerous fields,” she said.

The Bronze award comes at the same time as the federal government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) released data, which showed MCRI had a substantially lower gender pay gap when compared to peers in an Industry Comparison Group.

The WGEA data indicates that Australia’s median gender-based pay gap in in 2022-2023 was 19 per cent overall and 25 per cent within Professional, Scientific and Technical Services. MCRI achieved a significantly lower gender pay gap of 6.8 per cent in that same period. MCRI recognises that there is more to achieve on this good result.

The numbers also showed MCRI saw a steady decrease in our average gender pay gap over the last four years, with a notable increase in the representation of women in the representation of women in key management positions.

SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft congratulated MCRI on these efforts and on reaching the Bronze Award milestone.

“It’s important to recognise how much commitment is required of an institution before it can earn an Athena Swan Bronze Award," she said. It shows MCRI’s leadership and staff are determined to improve their workplace culture and make the organisation a place where everyone can thrive.

“MCRI has done deep work to assess the barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion that staff are facing and have put in place a workable plan to dismantle those barriers.”

MCRI acknowledges the Diversity and Inclusion committee volunteer members, who were instrumental in shaping our SAGE application and fostering this rich initiative. The Athena Swan Bronze Award accreditation positions MCRI amongst our global peers in paediatric research and translational medicine.