Australian Government gives boost to women in STEM roles

The Australian Government has pledged almost $2 million in funding to support women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles across the country.

The funding is part of the government’s Women in Stem and Entrepreneurship (WISE) grants program, which provided $9.95 million in its first three rounds.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said a diverse STEM workforce is essential to locking in Australia’s future economic growth.

“STEM is the key to unlocking our future. From manufacturing to medicines, construction to computing; all of it relies on a cutting-edge STEM workforce,” he said.

“By increasing participation from women and girls, including those in traditionally underrepresented groups, we are powering up Australia’s ability to stay at the forefront of new discoveries, breakthrough technologies and global progress.”

The WISE program is designed to break down barriers that otherwise prevent women from pursuing STEM education and careers.

It also provides women with the skills and tools needed to start their own businesses.

This round of grants includes $248,804 for the CSIRO in Queensland to provide training for indigenous women, including how to use data and artificial intelligence applications to manage their traditional lands.

It is also expected to build digital skills and literacy for further job opportunities.

The Australian Resources and Energy Group’s (AMMA) Resources and Energy Forecast (2021-2026) report previously highlighted that students graduating with STEM degrees are vital for Australia’s resources industry in the future.

An Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) survey found that on-site experience has improved for women in resources in 2021 compared with 2020, with more than half of respondents seeing their workplace as “very diverse” or “average”.

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