Pressing ahead for women’s progress in STEM

Photo source: Science and Technology Australia
Photo source: Science and Technology Australia

International Women’s Day (IWD) is about celebrating the achievements of women all over the world. In keeping with this year’s theme to ‘press for progress’ in striving for gender equity, the Australian Government shines a light on our amazing women making world-class contributions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They are making progress every day, addressing national challenges to help shape our nation’s future wellbeing and prosperity.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull marked the day by announcing that the Government will appoint a Women in Science Ambassador, who will act as an advocate for gender equity in science, raising awareness of issues and prosecuting the case for change.

The Prime Minister was joined by the 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons, who is leading work to develop quantum computing that could revolutionise global industries, healthcare and technology.

He also met with some of the Superstars of STEM, including Dr Kate Grarock, Dr Ronika Power, Dr Jodie Ward and Associate Professor Muireann Irish. These women are smashing gender assumptions about scientists in the media, on the stage and in discussion with decision-makers. The Superstars initiative, run by Science and Technology Australia, is so successful that the Government recently doubled the number of women participants from 30 to 60 and extended the program for another four years.

Like all of these dynamic, highly-accomplished women, the Women in Science Ambassador will be an inspiration and a role model. The Ambassador will be an eminent Australian woman recognised for her work in the science sector. She will serve as a national voice of encouragement for women and girls to realise their own potential, and provide advice to Government on issues that girls and women face along their STEM education and career journey.

This announcement builds on the Government’s $13 million investment in Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship initiatives under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

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