AAL’s commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters continues to evolve and is put into practice in a variety of ways.
AAL’s employment philosophy is open and flexible, with a mix of full and part-time positions having regard to the work/life balance and individual needs of AAL’s staff. With a responsibility for determining representation on a variety of external bodies related to astronomy, as well as membership of its advisory committees, AAL also has a selection process for all these positions that addresses principles of inclusion and gender balance. AAL offers general and case-specific support to those whose personal circumstances may otherwise limit their ability to participate in AAL’s committees, including those with caring responsibilities and people living with disability. This support includes flexible travel allowances and enabling AAL’s committee members to defer membership if required, or participate in committee activities while on parental leave.
AAL recognises its impact on the environment and is in the process of designing and implementing processes to reduce its carbon footprint wherever possible. We are currently focused on gathering environmental data and developing a management plan.
AAL also cares about its local community and has provided a work experience opportunity for a young person with an interest in astronomy to experience first-hand what happens in a working environment.
AAL endeavours to be an environmentally sustainable organisation built upon equity, diversity and mutual respect for its staff and stakeholders.
For the first time, all proposals submitted for time on the AAT in March 2020 were evaluated using guidelines of the UNSW Anonymous Proposal Review trial. The aim of this year-long trial is to determine the most effective ways to remove unconscious biases that detract from the objective scrutiny of applications for research infrastructure and resources. As has been seen via previous studies, it is possible for a reviewer to adopt a conscious or unconscious bias toward a submission when the identity of the lead author or principal investigator is known. The anonymous evaluation allowed reviewers to focus on the science proposed in the submission alone.
AAL is committed to continue monitoring the gender balance in access to the AAT time and the effectiveness of previously introduced initiatives that help to mitigate biases in time allocation processes.