Feedback invited on Women in STEM 10-year plan

Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Feedback invited on Women in STEM 10-year plan

The Australian Academy of Science is calling for the nation’s views on the barriers and enablers that affect participation, retention and success of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The academy has prepared a discussion paper to briefly describe the key issues and areas that will be considered in the development of the plan and to provide the questions for broad consultation with stakeholders. Feedback on this discussion paper will inform a 10-year roadmap for sustained increases in engagement and participation of girls and women in STEM, being developed by the Australian Academy of Science in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering on behalf of the federal government.

Anna-Maria Arabia, Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science, said women are lost at every stage as they seek to advance their career in STEM fields, due to a range of factors — including stereotypes, discrimination, and workplace culture and structure — some of which manifest from the early school years.

“We have seen the social and economic benefits of gender equity; however, Australia still has a long way to go as a nation to achieve equity in opportunities for girls and women to pursue STEM education and careers,” Arabia said.

“This 10-year roadmap will give the nation a pathway to achieving success in this area. Input from individuals and organisations across Australia is critical to ensure its success, and we encourage governments, research, industry, the not-for-profit sector and the media to participate.”

The Women in STEM 10-year roadmap was announced in the 2018 federal Budget and its recommendations will inform the Australian Government’s Women in STEM National Strategy. The expected outcomes of the roadmap are:

  • sustained improvements in gender equity in STEM;
  • increased opportunity for women and girls to gain STEM skills and participate in STEM careers;
  • increased benefits to business and society from increased access to STEM skills and a diverse workforce.

Consultation workshops will be held in each state and territory throughout September and October — dates and venues are available here. Written submissions from individuals and organisations will be accepted until 8 October and can be made here.

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