NHMRC requires Administering Institutions (AIs) to have policies in place to support gender equity in health and medical research. 

As outlined in the NHMRC Gender Equity Strategy 2022–2025, NHMRC's vision is a gender diverse and inclusive health and medical research workforce to take advantage of the full range of talent needed to build a healthy Australia. Strategies are required to achieve this vision. Accordingly, NHMRC requires the policies of AIs to include the following elements:

  1. An institutional strategy that addresses the under-representation of women in senior positions in relevant strategic/ corporate/ diversity plans. This strategy should be reviewed frequently to ensure that it is effective and relevant.
  2. Strategies for leadership development for women, including sponsorship, mentoring and training.
  3. The provision of employer-funded primary carers' leave for parents, as well as transitional support to encourage return to work.
  4. Flexible working arrangements that cater for individuals with caring responsibilities.
  5. Remuneration equity for equal or comparable responsibilities.
  6. Employment strategies that encourage the recruitment, retention and progression of women in health and medical research.
  7. Strategies to address the need for the provision of support for childcare.
  8. Policies, procedures and training in place to support research environments that are free from bias, discrimination and sexual or other harassment and procedures in place to fairly address any instances of such behaviour.

These requirements were introduced in 2015 and updated in 2019, when the eighth requirement was introduced. A PDF version of NHMRC gender equality requirements for AIs is available in the Downloads section, below.

NHMRC's reviews of Administering Institutions' gender equity policies

AIs have participated in two reviews to determine how they are meeting the requirements – one in 2015–16 and another in 2018–19. Comparisons of the outcomes for the 2015–16 and 2018–19 reviews are shown in Table 1. A selection of better practice examples from both reviews are available in the Downloads section, below.

Table 1: Comparison between the 2015–16 and 2018–19 reviews of AIs gender equality policies
Result category Number of
requirements met*
AIs in this category for the
2015–16 review (n=82)
AIs in this category for the
2018–19 review (n=76)#

*An assessment of 'met' was given if the AI had either fully adopted or partly adopted/ was working towards the requirement.

#The total number of AIs listed for the 2015–16 review (n=82) is not the same total number of AIs listed for the 2018–19 review (n=76) due to changes in active AIs and data not being provided by a small number of institutions.

Poor 0–1 0 0
Needs development 2–3 0 0
Fair 4 14 (17%) 0
Good 5 0
Very good 6 68 (83%) 9 (12%)
Excellent 7 67 (88%)