Federal Minister to hold Gold Coast roundtable on boosting women in STEM

The Federal Government is taking part in a Gold Coast roundtable working on finding ways to get more women into science, technology, engineering an mathematics.

Member for McPherson and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, will chair this discussions today.

The event, organised by the Australian Academy of Science, is part of the national consultation sessions it is holding to develop the Government’s Decadal Plan for Women in STEM, which the Government committed $4.5 million towards in the 2018-19 budget.


Minister Andrews said the main aim of the plan is to boost representation of girls and women in STEM in schools, universities and the workplace.

“We know that if girls in particular lose interest in science and maths when they’re in Years 5-8, it’s almost impossible to get them interested in studying science in maths at the senior levels,” Ms Andrews told MyGC.com.au.

“There’s a lot of reasons why girls and women don’t pursue the STEM careers. It includes a lot of social issues, they’re not encouraged to follow careers that are particularly male dominated.

“We have to make sure that parents understand that the jobs of the future require strong science and maths skills so we also need to influence the parents.

“The Coalition is absolutely committed gender equity in STEM and the sessions today are going to form part of the plan to reduce the barrier for girls and women.

“Increasing our STEM capability across Australia is so important because whilst we don’t know what the jobs of the future are we do know that three-quarters of them will require science and maths schools.

“As a government we want to make sure we are equipping our young people for the jobs of the future.”

The Academy of Science is coordinating this strategy and feedback from sessions will be used in further development of the Decadal Plan.