For the first time in its history, Swinburne University of Technology has opened recruitment for a professor/associate professor of architecture role to applicants who identify as female only, in a bid to increase the number of women in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines.

Architecture at Swinburne is strongly related to other design professions and is situated within the School of Design.

The undergraduate course commenced in 2018, and Swinburne is preparing to launch postgraduate courses in 2019 – including the Master of Architecture, the Master of Urban Design and the joint Master of Architecture and Urban Design.

Deputy vice-chancellor (Academic Innovation & Change) and professor of Astrophysics Sarah Maddison has been leading the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program at Swinburne and sees this role as one more step in the university’s gender equity journey.

“As a university we are committed to providing diverse, secure, exciting and rewarding career paths for our future STEMM academic leaders,” says Maddison.

“Women are largely under-represented in architecture; only 31 percent of architects in Australia are women,” she says.

“This is a pathway issue. While 50 percent of architecture PhDs are women, we’re not seeing this translate into senior roles within academia or industry.”

“Critically, only 20 percent of senior academics in STEMM disciplines in Australian universities are women, including in architecture and building. Swinburne is not immune, but we’re in a position to do something about it.”

Swinburne is part of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot program to improve the promotion and retention of women and gender minorities in STEMM.

The university has long been a champion of gender equity and for the past nine consecutive years has been recognised by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Women.

While Swinburne’s overall workforce gender balance is fairly evenly split, only 30 percent of staff in the university’s STEMM areas are women – and only 31 percent of these women are academic staff.

The percentages decrease further as women progress up the STEMM academic ladder, with women comprising just 20 percent of the university’s STEMM academic professoriate.

Swinburne’s women-only professor/associate professor position in architecture is open until 16 November. For details or to apply visit the Swinburne careers page at SwinJobs.