Australian women in STEM are now more visible than ever with 2272 women joining STEM Women in the past five months. Many are now using the new resource to showcase the depth of talent of those working in the field.
The database was developed by the Australian Academy of Science in partnership with the CSIRO, Science & Technology Australia, and the Australian Science Media Centre, with financial support from the Australian Government.
Users of the database can search for women in STEM based on their expertise, location and other search fields. Freelance science journalist Bianca Nogrady was one of the first to use the database. She contacted Professor Jenny Pringle for her article on the future of battery technology for environmental magazine, Enisa.
The 2019 Women for Media Report found women only appear as a source for news or provide expert comment in the media 24% of the time. With other journalists welcoming the database on Twitter, STEM Women is positioned as a powerful tool to help increase the visibility of STEM women in the media.
STEM Women is also designed to become a key resource for conference and event organisers across Australia. Thanks to STEM Women, the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) delivered an all women plenary session at the Australasian Leadership Computing Symposium.
STEM Women has also become a go-to for teachers looking to offer their students real life insights into STEM careers. Teacher Deanna Cammisotto of Prospect Primary School used the database to organise a visit by Kaitlyn Bayly from Accenture, so her students could discover what a career in technology looks like.
ACT teacher Ryan Elwell’s searched ‘geology’ on STEM Women. He discovered Stephanie McLennan and offered her the opportunity to share with students how science and mathematics skills can be turned into a successful and exciting career.
The database also allows users to find a mentor or search for expert insight. Seven early career women have gained great advice and insight into a variety of STEM careers from clinical trials to cyber security. Co-founder of Little Literature Co, Annabel Blake discovered a number of space experts whose research will help shape a set of STEM storytelling games and workshops.
Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at the Australian Academy of Science, Ms Louise Moes, said the opportunities available through STEM Women are endless.
“More than 15,000 searches have occurred on STEM Women with ‘chemistry’ and ‘engineering’ some of the most searched terms,” Ms Moes said.
“We’re also seeing a gradual increase in the number of users as they use the database to discover what is happening across the STEM ecosystem and to find opportunities to collaborate and gain knowledge.”
To find out more about gender equity in STEM actions and initiatives register for the Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 Conference.
© 2020 Australian Academy of Science