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Australia celebrates its women in science

13 February 2017

Today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science and provides us with the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the contribution Australian women make to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

I am pleased to say we have many talented women working in STEM in Australia, and Australia’s female scientists are amongst the world’s best.

But as we celebrate their many achievements we also must look to areas where gender equality is still lagging behind.

Currently only one in four IT graduates and less than one in eight engineering graduates are women.

Women occupy fewer than one fifth of senior researcher positions in Australian universities and research institutes, and make up only around a quarter of the STEM workforce overall.

The Australian Government is committed to increasing the number of girls and women studying STEM subjects at school and university, and who go on to rewarding and sustainable careers that make use of their STEM knowledge and skills.

We want more women employed as researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs, and reaching leadership positions in all sectors of society.

That’s why the National Innovation and Science Agenda includes $13 million of initiatives to encourage more girls and women to engage with STEM and entrepreneurial studies and careers.

As part of those initiatives the government was pleased to announce in December the first projects to be funded through the new Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grants program.

The 24 projects will receive $3.9 million over the next two years, and cover the length and breadth of the country – including regional areas.

They will involve activities as diverse as drone programming camps for girls, engineering skills development for women in regional areas, workshops to boost women’s entrepreneurship, and helping to raise the profile of Australia’s many female scientists, innovators and inventors.

I would like to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science by congratulating the work being done by the talented women working in STEM fields in Australia and assure the nation the government will continue to make strides to encourage more women to excel in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Media contacts: Minister Sinodinos' office 02 6277 7070