Government gets serious about getting more women working in STEM

By Melissa Coade

August 5, 2022

Ed Husic
Industry and science minister Ed Husic. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Industry and science minister Ed Husic has vowed to work to close the gap in Australia’s science and research sector as part of a national push to encourage more people to consider a career in STEM.

“Science and the scientific community will play a vital role in guiding evidence-based policy for the [new] government,” Husic said. 

“[We are] committed to ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities to learn, work and succeed in STEM, especially here in Australia, and I’m very much looking forward to exploring how we can achieve this commitment at the jobs and skills summit next month. 

The minister made his remarks in parliament ahead of National Science Week (13-21 August). 

The jobs summit will bring together unions, employers, civil society and governments in early September to discuss how to address some of Australia’s shared economic challenges. Treasury has been tasked with developing a whitepaper to outline the economic landscape the summit will be discussing.

Husic listed several initiatives the federal government is supporting to create more opportunities to grow Australia’s research sector, including $1 billion from the Critical Technology Fund for critical technology research and development (R&D).  

“This is in addition to the $4 million we are providing for up to 20 PhDs in quantum research and to support universities to establish a national research and education partnership between universities,” the minister said. 

“Initiatives like these will help achieve our vision of a ‘brain regain’ for Australia, encouraging talented STEM researchers to stay here or return from overseas, and provide the fuel that powers the nation’s high-tech industries,” Husic said. 

Three First Nations scientists addressed a a special launch event for Science Week in Canberra on Thursday.

“I acknowledge the unique perspective and knowledge that Indigenous STEM experts bring to Australian science,” Husic said.

“National Science Week is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our scientists who are making our world a better place.”

This year the government has supported 35 different projects to mark Science Week with $500,000. 


More women in a STEM field leads people to label it a ‘soft science’

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