Women in STEM Decadal Plan

Attracting women and girls to STEM and 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 2030 to guide stakeholders as they identify and implement 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)*

On this page

Decadal plan champions

The decadal plan provides a framework to ensure the STEM ecosystem is moving towards a shared vision. It outlines six opportunities for all stakeholders—government, academia, industry, education and the broader community—who have the power to act and create change.

The six opportunities are:

  • leadership and cohesion
  • evaluation
  • workplace culture
  • visibility
  • education
  • industry action.

Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champions are STEM organisations that have agreed to publicly align their gender equity journey with the decadal plan. The champions process builds on the efforts already underway across many STEM organisations, providing a platform to share knowledge, act, evaluate and create accountability. Discover and collaborate with champions’ activities, become a champion today, and sign up to the Women in STEM mailing list.

The Academy's report, One Year In—Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champions, analyses the gender equity activities highlighted by Champions and key stakeholders between August 2019 and August 2020 and defines the next steps to improving gender equity.

Background to the decadal plan

At the request of the Australian Government the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering worked together to develop the 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.

The Women in STEM Decadal Plan was launched in April 2019 and was accompanied by the Pathways to Equity in STEM symposium, the first implementation step for the Women in STEM Decadal Plan. The symposium brought together leaders from across the STEM ecosystem to begin turning the recommendations of the decadal plan into actions and to make commitments to equity in STEM in Australia.

The decadal plan aims to remove barriers for anyone who identifies as a woman, including cisgender (personal gender identity corresponds with sex assigned at birth) and transgender (personal gender identity does not correspond with sex assigned at birth) it also extends to intersex and non-binary individuals.

Catalysing Gender Equity 2020

The Academy, in collaboration with Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), hosted the event Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 in Adelaide on 20–21 February 2020. The conference brought together 400 representatives from academia, industry, government and education to advance the opportunities of the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.

Read the summary report and the report appendix to learn more.

Reflecting on Catalysing Gender Equity: one year on

On 30 March 2021, 73 representatives gathered in an online forum hosted by the Australian Academy of Science to reflect on the Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 conference held in February 2020 and the two years since the launch of the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.

Participants in the forum considered how the experience of 2020 would shape approaches in 2021, including identifying small-scale/big-impact ideas and ways the group could connect and collaborate going forward. This report outlines what was captured in the discussions and provides an action agenda for next steps.

Read the 2021 report


*The April 2019 version of the plan, the one on this page, contains small changes from the original March 2019 publication, including page numbering. No substantive changes were made.

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