Women are underrepresented in STEM, in fact they only account for 16 per cent of this increasingly vital workforce. This small number represents a very big cost to Australia’s economy and industry innovation.
The benefits of diversity for Australian STEM, the need to get unconventional to drive change and what is already working, were all themes explored during STEMFest 2019: Women Changing Australia.
Uplifting, inspiring and galvanising, the event made a significant impact on the 322 industry, academic and government attendees joining APR.Intern for STEMFest 2019, both in-person at KPMG Melbourne and online via the live webinar. Keynote, Dr Catriona Wallace, Founder & Executive Director of Flamingo Ai, was joined by a line-up of inspiring speakers from KPMG, Toyota, Cochlear, Australian Academy of Science and Male Champions of Change. View the full program: aprintern.org.au/stem-fest-2019-webinar/
While there is no one-size-fits-all quick fix, the event’s key theme was that STEM diversity is an important and urgent problem and one that deserves priority attention and action at all levels.
Keynote, Dr Catriona Wallace:
- “90% of coding is done by males. We are in the process of hard coding society’s existing problems related to bias and diversity into the machines that will be running our lives.”
- “What can you do to encourage career pathways for women? Sponsor, support and mentor a woman, think creatively about the roles needed and seek out the good men. Men that serve as role models to other men. Men that hold their peers accountable. Men that are cognisant of their own bias.”
- “The big answer to finding more women to employ is deepening relationships between industry and universities. We need a much greater plug-in of universities into industry sectors.”
What guests enjoyed about STEMFest
- “The empowered and enthusiastic participants.”
- “Learning about strategies currently in place to increase STEM participation.”
- “The expertise of speakers and panellists, and the practical tips that went beyond lip service about women in STEM.”
- “The topics covered of female empowerment in the STEM workplace and how to foster that mentality.”
- “I was completely taken by the event concept and thoroughly engaged with the speakers, in particular Catriona Wallace and Andrew Stevens.”
Women in STEM Pledge
STEMFest 2019 attendees and Aussie STEM advocates are helping drive change by taking the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s Women in STEM Pledge #WiSTEMpledge. Launched at STEMFest 2019, the change movement has already made a big splash on social media, as industry champions promise to create opportunities for women in STEM – whether today, tomorrow or in the future.
To date, the AMSI Women in STEM Pledge has received over 65 pledges and generated over 145,000 impressions on social media.
Take the Pledge today: amsi.org.au/pledge/
- View all videos here: aprintern.org.au/video-library/
For further media coverage, see the AMSI Media Centre.