To secure Australia’s health and economy into the future, the talents of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) including health and medicine, are vital. In biology, over half of all Bachelor of Science and PhD graduates are women, yet there are between one and two women in every ten investigators at senior levels in our universities and research institutes. In contrast, physics, maths and engineering struggle to attract women to pursue careers in these disciplines. How many women in science are inspiring science teachers, educators, entrepreneurs, executives, manufacturers, editors or policy-makers?
Actions that encourage gender equity and equality in STEM, as well as family-friendly policies must be taken now. Gender equity and equality in STEM is not a “women’s issue” – it affects all of us, so it is everyone’s issue! It is not just about having children either – having a young family in the formative years of a career in science affects more women yes, but it also affects men. Australia’s research workforce has the greatest attrition rates between the ages of 35-45 years. Most who leave are women. While some choose to leave, many do not want to, but feel they must for a variety of reasons, including an inability to maintain the Track Record required to obtain funding.
Women in STEMM Australia aims to connect women in science across every professional sector – education, research, industry, academia and government. Together, we can create an environment that allows more women in science to lead and excel. Join this important discussion and learn more about our phenomenal women in science Down Under!