The Australian Antarctic Division’s (AAD) We are equal video showcases the important role that women play in our Program and across the AAD, and our intent to pursue gender equality in all aspects of our operations.

Currently about 40 percent of the Division’s head office workforce is female, while on research stations in Antarctica and on Macquarie Island women comprise about a quarter of the population.

AAD Director Kim Ellis, said gender balance in the workplace leads to better outcomes.

“In order to continue to grow Australia’s world-class Antarctic Program, we need to ensure there’s a diverse cross section of society within the AAD,” Mr Ellis said.

“It’s clear one gender does not have a monopoly on good ideas or outcomes, the more we embrace equality, the better it will be for our work in Antarctica and in the Southern Ocean.”

The AAD’s approach to gender equality focuses on areas such as

  • Increasing the number of women across all roles
  • Providing flexible and supportive working arrangements
  • Offering networking, leadership and mentoring opportunities
  • Improving workplace inclusion and diversity
  • Gender-neutral recruitment processes
  • Joining Male Champions of Change

Mr Ellis said historically the Division has had trouble attracting women to work down south, particularly in trade roles.

“Our numbers tend to reflect national trends in Australian industry for lower female participation rates, so we have to work harder to attract women to apply for these positions.”

“I hope this renewed focus and commitment to providing a flexible and supportive working environment will encourage more gender diversity in our operations and therefore lead to enhanced outcomes.”