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International Women's Day - Greater opportunities for girls and women in STEM

8 March 2020

The Morrison Government is building on its commitment to get more girls and women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), to secure their futures and make sure Australia’s economy continues to thrive.

To mark International Women’s Day, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews today launched the Women in STEM Action Plan and the STEM Equity Monitor – two key initiatives from the Government’s Advancing Women in STEM strategy.

“Imagine the discoveries, cures, breakthroughs and inventions that could have been made if there’d been full participation of women in STEM up to now,” Minister Andrews said.

“Gender equity in STEM and improving participation and opportunities for girls and women in these fields will result in significant social, economic and technological benefits for everyone.

“When it comes to our girls, we need to make sure they’re studying STEM subjects so they can be prepared for the jobs of the future – 75 per cent of which will require those skills.

“While for the women who are working in STEM we need to make sure we’re doing all that we can to keep them engaged and not see them lost to the sector.

“These initiatives are part of a collective effort to create change and greater opportunities for the next generation of girls.”

The Women in STEM Action Plan identifies early priorities arising from the Advancing Women in STEM strategy and Women in STEM Decadal Plan, which will set the foundations for a national, coordinated approach to achieving sustained improvements in gender equity in STEM. It outlines how a focus on government practices, data and evaluation will help us achieve real change.

The new STEM Equity Monitor brings together multiple data sets from across government to form a comprehensive view of women’s participation across the full STEM pathway – from primary school right through into the workforce.

“If we’re not effectively measuring how we’re tracking then we won’t be able to tell if the actions being taken by government, academia and industry are having an impact,” Minister Andrews said.

“The STEM Equity Monitor provides a mechanism for measuring change and analysis of trends over time, with results to be published annually over a ten-year period.”

This aligns with the Women in STEM Decadal Plan, which sets out the framework for the STEM sector to take collective action over the next decade to improve gender equity in STEM.

More information on Action Plan and Equity Monitor can be found at industry.gov.au/womeninstem

Media Contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070