- Academic and Political Scientist
As an early-career academic, Marian Sawer experienced first-hand the difficulties encountered by women in a male-dominated workplace. After establishing equal employment opportunity programs at the Australian National University and the Department of Foreign Affairs in the 1980s, she pursued an academic career as a political scientist at the University of Canberra and the Australian National University, becoming head of the Political Science Program in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University in 2000 and being promoted to professor in 2003. From 2002 to 2008 she led the Democratic Audit of Australia which assessed the health of Australian democracy and produced over 200 discussion papers and reports. Marian took a leading role in Women's Electoral Lobby campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s, particularly around equal opportunity legislation, women's policy machinery and tax reform. She has authored or edited around twenty books, including a history of the Women's Electoral Lobby.