Academy to deliver new initiatives for women and girls in STEM

May 21, 2018
From left: Ms Julia Banks MP, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Professor Karen Hapgood from Deakin University, Academy Fellow Professor Maria Forsyth from Deakin University, Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Michaelia Cash, and Ms Margaret Hansford from Girl Guides Victoria

The Australian Academy of Science has welcomed a commitment of $600,000 from the Australian Government to develop a 10-year roadmap for sustained increases in engagement and participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The funding commitment was made by Senator Michaelia Cash and Kelly O’Dwyer MP this week at Deakin University.

“The Government is funding the Academy of Science to now put together that decadal plan. And Kelly and I look forward to receiving it by the end of this year,” said Senator Cash.

Academy President, Professor Andrew Holmes, said Australia still has a long way to go as a nation when it comes to achieving equity in opportunities for girls and women to pursue STEM education and careers.

“The barriers to equity in STEM are compounded by the gendered portrayal of science in the media, and a preponderance of male scientists on STEM committees and boards across government, academia and industry,” he said.

“Therefore, we strongly welcome this initiative, along with the $250,000 Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grant that will enable us to deliver a national ‘#WomenInSTEMOnline' online portal for female STEM professionals,” Professor Holmes said.

“The Academy has a strong track record of delivering long term strategic plans for a range of science disciplines. We look forward to delivering a plan for women and girls in science that will identify and set priorities for the next decade and outline strategies to achieve them.”

The '#WomenInSTEMOnline' project will promote gender equity by improving female participation in STEM conferences and panels, science and technology media, government and industry committees and boards and STEM award nominations and applications.

The online portal will comprise a curated directory of 1000+ industry, academic and professional women in STEM, training and support for women on presentations, media appearances, and award applications, a national Women in STEM symposium and a gender equity toolkit for conference organisers, businesses and agencies.

The Australian Academy of Science will deliver the #WomenInSTEMOnline project in collaboration with the CSIRO, Australian Science Media Centre and Science & Technology Australia.

© 2018 Australian Academy of Science

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