Government investing in STEM women leaders program

3 June 2022

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The Australian Government is allocating a total of $41.2 million towards the Boosting the Next Generation of Women in STEM fund for the next seven years. It has also been announced that the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) has been announced as the sole implementing partner for the fund, which will go the institution’s transformational program, named Elevate.

Under the program, up to 500 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships will be awarded to women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). ATSE and its partners will co-design a high-quality program spanning industry, academia and government to upskill women with the qualifications, research, and business expertise, so they can lead and shape the Australian STEM sector.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker said the program will be a game-changer for creating a diverse, inclusive, and vibrant STEM ecosystem that can attract, retain and progress girls and women into STEM education and careers.

“The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is delighted to partner with the Australian Government in implementing this game-changing and workforce culture-shaping program,” Walker said. “Elevate is designed around three pillars – education and impact designed and led by women; skills building, supported by mentoring and networking; and leadership to increase the influence and profile of women in STEM.

“As well as supporting a strong, thriving cohort of future women leaders and role models to enter and excel in Australian STEM jobs, Elevate will nurture a collaborative and innovative economy-building culture between Australian universities and Australian industry,” Walker added. “Our goal is to immerse these trailblazing scholars in an expansive network of influential and inclusive research and industry leaders who will inspire and cultivate their future careers. We are thrilled to support their journey.”

The Elevate program will complement ATSE’s existing three high-profile STEM career pathway initiatives: IMNIS – Industry Mentoring Network in STEM – an industry engagement, mentoring and internships initiative which will be integrated with the Elevate program; STELR – a schools-based, hands-on STEM education program; and CS in Schools – a digital technology education program linking classrooms with industry.

“The Academy is ideally positioned to implement this transformational program given its track record of nurturing a diverse and inclusive sector and its strong connections between academia, industry and government,” Walker said. “We look forward to bringing our extensive experience in championing women’s empowerment and gender equality in STEM together with our robust suite of programs dedicated to shaping the future of Australian STEM careers.”

Alongside ATSE, the Elevate program is jointly administered by the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), Cooperative Research Australia, Cicada Innovations, FB Rice, DMTC Limited, Gemaker, Women in Leadership Development Program (WILD), Women in STEMM Australia (WiSA) and Science & Technology Australia.