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Women Science Superstars set to inspire girls to study STEM

3 July 2017

Thirty Australian women Science Superstars announced today will lead the charge in inspiring more young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

I am delighted to announce the 30 Superstars of STEM, who will provide leadership for other women and girls choosing to study and work in STEM.

Science & Technology Australia’s Superstars of STEM program - a world first - will support and train these outstanding women to become prominent role models, promoting gender equity and inspiring more young women and girls to choose to study and work in STEM.

I commend the significant commitment of these outstanding women for playing this important leadership role.

Australia needs greater gender balance in the overall STEM workforce, where women occupy less than half of all positions.

Taking science to young women in the classroom can be incredibly powerful and inspiring and it’s a strong step towards overcoming inequality in participation.

Only one in four IT graduates and fewer than one in 10 engineering graduates are women, and women occupy fewer than 20 per cent of senior researcher positions in Australian universities and research institutes.

The Superstars of STEM, who work in a variety of disciplines with public and private sector organisations, will share their work with the public and students through social and mainstream media, and public speaking engagements at schools and workplaces.

This initiative was supported by a grant of $178,500 over two years from the Australian Government’s $8 million Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship competitive grants program.

Science & Technology Australia is one of 24 organisations to receive $3.9 million in first-round grant funding for projects to boost the participation of girls and women in STEM education and careers.

These projects cover the full spectrum of STEM education and careers, from primary school aged girls through to fostering entrepreneurship and more career development opportunities for women already in the workforce.

A second Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grants round will open later in 2017.

This program is a key element of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, working to address the cultural, institutional and organisational factors that result in a gender imbalance in STEM-related studies and professions.

More information about the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship program is available at www.business.gov.au/womenSTEM

More details of the Superstars of STEM program is available at http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/superstars

Media Contact: Minister Sinodinos' office 02 6277 7070