Gender equity in universities and 30 years of research

Professor Glenda Strachan

Professor Glenda Strachan and colleagues conducted a major Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project funded byUniversities Australia, Unisuper and the National Tertiary Education Union on gender equity in universities in 2012. As well as a major report, they have also published papers on the use of casual academic staff, the insecurity facing highly skilled research staff,workplace harassment,the progress of non-academic staff,and gender discrepancies in academics’ bonus payments.

Project leader Strachan has herself been a prolific and influential researcher on work for over three decades, with a particular focus on equity and gender equity. Glenda’s work has analysed organisational practices in equity and has shown that there is a distinct national character to these policies. Her work illustrates that Australian policy frameworks for equity are in the vanguard of such policies internationally, but at the same time she has provided a critique of policy and practices that has advanced public debate in this area. This work culminated in the bookManaging Diversity in Australia: Theory and practice(2010) with co-authors Erica French and John Burgess.

Glenda’s public work includes an invited submission to the 2007 Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) Pay Equity Inquiry:Progressing Pay Equity(with Erica French).The significance of this work is underlined by the QIRC’s vanguard role in pay equity developments in Australia. The conclusion from her research that “cohesive, universal legislation premised on equal opportunity and anti-discrimination principles is required if gender equity, including pay equity, is to be achieved” is a major driver for the Report’s recommendations.

Professor Strachan is Co-Chair of Universities Australia (UA) Executive Women (UA is academe’s industry peak body).

Members of the WOW conduct research in the areas of equity, diversity and gender in employment
Members of WOW conduct research in the areas of equity, diversity and gender in employment

She has been at the forefront of developing equity and diversity research in Australia and developing the equity and diversity in employment (EDGE) stream within the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing at Griffith University.

Further reading