Women in STEM Decadal Plan

Demand for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills in Australia is high, and cannot be met over the coming decade unless cohesive and collective action is taken to maximise the attraction, participation and retention of men and women in the workforce. Women in particular face barriers at all levels of the pipeline including in their years of education and at all levels in the workforce, with pronounced barriers presenting at senior levels.

Attracting women and girls to STEM, providing an environment for them to thrive and progress is a shared responsibility of government, academia, the education system, industry, and the community.

The Women in STEM Decadal Plan, developed by the Australian Academy of Science in collaboration with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, offers a vision and opportunities to guide all stakeholders as they go about identifying and agreeing specific actions they must take to build the strongest STEM workforce possible to support Australia’s prosperity.

The opportunity to achieve a transformative, systematic and sustained change in Australia’s STEM sector begins with this plan.


Download the decadal plan* (PDF, 5.5MB)

Read the Academy's media release


The Women in STEM Decadal Plan outlines six opportunities, turning them into action requires commitment from all stakeholder groups: government, academia, industry, education sector and the broader community.

The Pathways to Equity in STEM symposium held in April 2019 is the first implementation step for the Women in STEM Decadal Plan. The symposium brings together leaders across the STEM ecosystem to begin turning the recommendations of the decadal plan into actions and make commitments to equity in STEM in Australia.

Australian Academy of Science and Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering together with an implementation task force, are committed to working with all stakeholder group to help them achieve change.

If you are interested in being involved in the implementation of Women in STEM Decadal Plan or wish to get in contact, contact the Women in STEM implementation taskforce via email or add yourself to the implementation mailing list.


At the request of the Australian Government the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering worked together to develop a Women in STEM Decadal Plan, with the purpose of creating a 10-year roadmap for achieving sustained increases in girls and women’s STEM participation and retention from school through to careers.
Overseen by an Expert Working Group comprised of representatives from across the STEM sector the Decadal Plan is the result of an extensive research and national consultation process covering every state and territory and involving written submissions, stakeholder interviews and roundtable discussions.

We define women as anyone who identifies as a woman, including cisgender (personal gender identity corresponds with sex assigned at birth), transgender (personal gender identity does not correspond with sex assigned at birth), non-binary and intersex persons who identify as a woman (or girl).

*This April 2019 version contains small changes from the original March 2019 publication, including page numbering. No substantive changes were made.

© 2019 Australian Academy of Science