International Women's Day

Press for Progress

International Women's Day 2018

International Women's Day is held annually on 8 March to celebrate women's achievements throughout history and across nations. Started by the Suffragettes in the early 1900's, the first International Women's Day was held in 1911 and today it is celebrated across the world as a vehicle for change.

The theme for this year is #PressforProgress and with the World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report indicating that gender parity will take more than 200 years to achieve, there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and press ahead.

As UNSW’s Gender Champion and the leader of the SAGE Athena SWAN program which is focused on improving gender equity in the STEMM disciplines, I am encouraged by the actions we have taken so far and are planning to implement over the coming years that will ensure we achieve our gender targets by 2025:

  • 40% female academic staff at Level D & E, and
  • 50% female Professional staff at Level 10+

We all have a shared responsibility to help achieve gender equity so take a moment to consider what you can do to in your business unit, your school or faculty to Press for Progress in 2018. And don’t forget to check out the activities taking place at UNSW to mark IWD!

Professor Laura Poole-Warren
UNSW Gender Champion
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Training) and Dean of Graduate Research Division of Research

UNSW Pressing for Progress

  • 2025 Strategy commitment: to be an international exemplar in equity, diversity and inclusion
  • 2025 targets approved by UNSW Council:
    • 40% female Academic Staff at Level D and above. (2015 Baseline: 28% vs. Current: 28%)
    • 50% female Professional Staff at HEW10+ (2015 Baseline: 49% vs. Current: 52%)
  • The appointment of Prof. Eileen Baldry as UNSW's Deputy Vice Chancellor, Inclusion and Diversity, the first appointment of its kind at any university in Australia.
  • The appointment of five Diversity Champions, including Professor Laura Poole-Warren as UNSW's Gender Diversity Champion, in 2016.
  • Signed up to the Athena SWAN Pilot in Australia. One of 40 Institutions across Australia to do so.



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Gender Pay Gap Bake Sale

UNSW Women’s Collective is hosting a gender pay gap bake sale where cis-men pay $1 for cakes and women and non-cis men pay 70 cents.
All welcome.

Library Lawn, Kensington campus

Tuesday 6 March, 11.00 – 1.00pm

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UNSW Canberra Prize for Best Female Student in Mathematics

UNSW Canberra, together with industry partner Northrup Grumman, is hosting its inaugural awards ceremony to recognise the best Year 8 and Year 9 female students in mathematics from participating ACT and Queanbeyan high schools. Families of the award recipients, teachers and principals from participating schools, and UNSW Staff are encouraged to attend.

Adams Auditorium, UNSW Canberra

Thursday 8 March, 8.00 am

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International Women's Day Morning Tea

UNSW Canberra will celebrate International Women’s Day with a morning tea at Adam’s Auditorium. The annual event celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
This year’s theme, #PressforProgress, highlights a call to action for accelerating gender parity through collective action and shared responsibility.
Please RSVP to

Adams Auditorium, UNSW Canberra

Thursday 8 March, 10.00 – 11.00 am

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International Women’s Day Breakfast

UNSW will be hosting a special breakfast event featuring one of Australia’s leading commentators on women and the workforce and author of the book, Stop Fixing Women, Catherine Fox. Catherine will discuss why gender inequality is still such a pressing issue and why building fairer workplaces is everybody’s business.
This event is SOLD OUT.

Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building

Thursday 8 March, 8.00 – 9.00 am

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International Women’s Day Brunch

UNSW Engineering and Women in Engineering Society are celebrating International Women's Day with a special brunch event for engineering students and our industry partners. The brunch will include an inspiring address from a UNSW alumna and a provide the opportunity for industry to network with our high performing students in support and recognition of women’s achievements in engineering.
This event is SOLD OUT.

Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, Ground Floor, Hilmer Building

Thursday 8 March, 9.00 – 11.00 am

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Grand Challenge meetup: Gender through a historical and cross-cultural lens

Join guest speaker Professor Pauline Grosjean for a special Grand Challenge meetup on International Women's Day. This talk will explore the historical origins of modern gender roles. It will ask how historical and cross-cultural perspectives can challenge commonly held assumptions about the causes of the gender gap in occupations and earnings. All members of the UNSW community welcome.
For more information and to register visit the Grand Challenge Meetup.
This event is SOLD OUT.

Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, Ground Floor, Hilmer Building

Thursday 8 March, 4.00 – 5.00 pm

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Screening of Hidden Figures

UNSW Women's Collective and UNSW Workplace Diversity are jointly screening Hidden Figures for International Women's Day! Hidden Figures tells the real-life story about three brilliant African-American women - Katherine Jonson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – who worked at NASA and served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. Come along for free and get complimentary popcorn, choc top and a soft drink as well as a really great night of intersectional feminism! All staff and students welcome. To register visit Hidden Figures Movie Night.

Roundhouse, Kensington campus

Thursday 8 March, 5.00 – 7.30 pm

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More UNSW Women's Collective events

Find out about other events UNSW’s Women’s Collective has organised for International Women's Day on their Facebook events page.

Hyde Park North

Saturday 10 March, 10.00 – 1.00 pm