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Championing gender diversity and equity within Australia’s STEM community


The Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering recently released the Women in STEM Decadal Plan.

Australias STEM Community - Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

This ten-year plan provides a shared vision for the Australian STEM community to attract women and girls to STEM and provide an environment for them to thrive and progress.

‘The pipeline is leaky at every point. There is no silver bullet, and that is why the decadal plan offers a unique opportunity for everyone to drive the change needed to achieve gender equity in STEM.’ – Women in STEM Decadal Plan.

As an active member of this community, we are committed to improving gender diversity. We are taking action to help achieve gender equity in Australia.

Demand for STEM skills is high, yet women currently make up 16% of the STEM workforce in Australia. Collectively we can solve the under-representation of women in STEM and help to realise Australia’s innovation and productivity potential.

As a Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion, we have aligned our gender equity journey with the decadal plan. Through our response to the decadal plan, we are committing to share knowledge, act, evaluate and create accountability.

Our mission is to create an environment where everyone is valued and provided with equal opportunity to contribute and succeed. One of the ways we are achieving this is through a strong commitment to a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.

In our 2019 response to the decadal plan, we have publicly pledged our target to achieve 25 per cent representation of women within our STEM workforce by 2024.

In the past 12 months, we have implemented several initiatives aimed at removing barriers, obstacles and biases at all levels. These include:

  • A progressive new paid parental leave policy - offering up to 16 weeks paid parental leave for primary caregivers, with no qualifying period and superannuation top-up payments for unpaid leave
  • Best practice flexible work policies and supporting frameworks - which have significantly increased the uptake and normalisation of formal flexible working
  • Investment in education and training through ‘Leadership Excellence Program’ – focused on D&I, gender equality, inclusive leadership and performance appraisals
  • Mandatory training for unconscious bias – for all employees
  • Robust Performance Development Review - audit and calibration process including gender review to ensure fairness in salary review, incentives and total remuneration

In the next 12 months, we have set an ambitious plan to continue this work and also increase our talent pipeline. We are committed to:

  • Maintaining our Workplace Gender Equity Agency Employer of Choice citation
  • Enhancing our Early Careers Program and improving female participation
  • Ensuring gender diversity on all interview panels
  • Implementing shortlist targets to improve gender diversity in recruitment
  • Ensuring greater gender diversity in the Junior Leadership Development Program
  • Increasing engagement in academic and community STEM initiatives

We are committed to championing change within our industry by being open and accountable in the reporting of our progress towards gender equality.