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Vision for gender equity in Australia

30 March 2019

The Morrison Government is investing $3.4 million to improve science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) equity in Australia and boost the participation of girls and women in STEM careers.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said having a workforce with STEM skills is a key component of the Government’s plan for a stronger economy and more jobs.

“The funding underpins the Liberal National Government’s priority to address gender inequity in STEM and to continue improving women’s economic security,” Minister Andrews said.

“In order to have the widest talent pool possible we need to ensure all Australians are supported to participate in STEM activities and careers.

“We know that STEM is the engine of technology, innovation and wealth - and gender-diverse teams are better problem solvers.

“Of this funding, $1.8 million will extend the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative so higher education and research sectors can continue to improve gender equity policies and practices.”

This investment builds on the $2 million the Coalition Government already allocated to SAGE from 2016–17 to 2018–19.

“We have a vision of all eligible Australian research institutions being SAGE members, demonstrating their commitment to gender equity. Ongoing support for this initiative will help achieve this,” Minister Andrews said.

“With the support of Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, we will also implement a $1.5 million national digital awareness raising initiative.

“We want to heighten the visibility of girls and women in STEM and showcase the diverse opportunities STEM study and careers can provide.”

These initiatives build on the Coalition’s $4.5 million investment in the 2018–19 Budget to encourage more women to pursue STEM education and careers, and build on more than $13 million invested in other actions including the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grants program.

After five years of the Liberal National Government, there are over 1.2 million more Australians in jobs, and around 57 per cent of these new jobs have been taken up by women.

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070