Applications now open for next Superstars of STEM
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews has launched the next round of applications for Science & Technology Australia’s (STA) Superstars of STEM program — an opportunity for brilliant women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to step into the spotlight as media stars.
As noted by STA CEO Misha Schubert, “Women are still seriously under-represented in STEM leadership roles, and fewer than one in five experts talking about science in the media are women.” Indeed, women only make up 12% of the highest academic seniority level in STEM fields and 13.7% of CEOs in the professional, scientific and technical services industries.
“The Superstars of STEM program has meant more women STEM experts are now on our airwaves and quoted in our daily news bulletins,” Schubert said. “They also inspire the next generations of girls into STEM through school visits and public speaking.
“Today the search begins to find our next constellation of passionate Superstars to become media stars and visible public role models for the next generation.”
Since the program began, the first 90 Superstars of STEM have featured in more than 4800 news stories across Australia and reached more than 18,000 students in schools. One of the current Superstars, Dr Kudzai Kanhutu, has been on the frontlines of the COVID challenge in the Victorian hospital system and became a regular on ABC’s The Drum this year. Another Superstar, Dr Kate Cole, secured front page media coverage that prompted major retailers and state safety regulators to strengthen checks on masks and PPE equipment.
Schubert said the program is about building capacity in the STEM sector so more women have the confidence and training to be on the public stage and become go-to STEM experts in the media. She added that women from diverse backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.
“We need the talents of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women of colour, women in under-represented disciplines, women from the LGBTQIA+ and disability communities, women in regional areas and women right across the stages of their careers in this program and in STEM.
“That strong commitment to diversity has been key to the success of Superstars.”
Supported by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the next 60 Superstars of STEM will participate in the program over two years, starting in January 2021. Applications close on 31 August 2020 and successful candidates will be named at the end of this year.
For more information and to apply, click here.
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