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Long-term action to support girls and women in STEM

16 May 2018

A joint media release with the Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP.

The Turnbull Government is committed to increasing the participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash and Minister for Women, Kelly O’Dwyer, today unveiled the details of a $4.5 million package announced in the Budget last week to encourage more girls and women to study and undertake STEM careers.

The new initiatives build on the Government’s existing work to address gender equity in STEM, and include:

  • A Women in Science Strategy which will help coordinate the government’s efforts to increase women’s participation in science and technology.
  • A Decadal Plan for Women in Science will allow the science sector to lead a comprehensive strategy to encourage more women to pursue studies and careers in STEM fields and reduce systemic and cultural barriers.
  • A Girls in STEM Toolkit to help school-age girls understand what a STEM career can involve, and assist them to match their interests to a STEM career.
  • A Women in STEM Ambassador who will advocate for gender equity in STEM, raise awareness of issues, prosecute the case for change, and build visibility and promote women in STEM.

The successful recipients of the second round of the Government’s Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) grant program have also been announced, with twenty-two organisations across Australia receiving over $4 million in funding.

The projects target women and girls of all ages and backgrounds across Australia, from early childhood to mid-career entrepreneurs and scientists. They are designed to foster lifelong interest in STEM, encourage greater participation in STEM careers, and help female STEM professionals build entrepreneurial skills and networks.

Minister Cash said the Government is tackling the national challenge of how to attract more girls and women to STEM studies and careers.

“We must draw on the entire skill set of our community and make the best use of the tremendous knowledge and skills of women researchers, engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

“Only by involving all Australians can we take big strides in science and technology, ensuring our nation benefits from the huge contribution these discoveries will make to our future lives,” Minister Cash said.

Minister O’Dwyer said there are many talented women already studying or working in STEM careers who are outstanding role models for others.

“Our 2018 Australian of the Year, Prof Michelle Simmonds, a world-renowned Quantum Physicist, is a fantastic example of the ground-breaking achievements that women can make in STEM careers.”

“Our diverse range of incredibly talented women in STEM careers are an inspiration to all girls thinking of pursuing this field as a career.”

For a list of WISE grant recipients, visit https://www.business.gov.au/Assistance/Women-in-STEM-and-Entrepreneurship/Women-in-STEM-and-Entrepreneurship-Grant-Recipients

Media contacts:

Minister Cash's office 02 6277 7320

Minister O'Dwyer's office 02 6277 7930