A local organisation in the Mackay region is one of 24 projects which will receive a share of $3.9 million in funding from the Turnbull Government that will encourage girls and women to study and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
The funding is the first round of the new $8 million Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grant program under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said Resource Industry Network would receive $86,000 which would not only help more girls and women to get involved in STEM but also inspire them to continue on into the workforce.
“Women are underrepresented in STEM related studies and professions, with only one in four IT graduates and fewer than one in 10 in engineering.” said Ms Landry.
“This funding will collect baseline data on the barriers to women’s retention in STEM careers and participation in senior leadership positions; develop employer toolkits to provide to 250 businesses employing women in STEM fields; and support 80 of these through implementation workshops to implement strategies to support women succeed in STEM careers.”
Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt said the Turnbull Government is committed to improving gender equity and boosting female participation in STEM fields.
“A wide range of projects will receive funding, from building interest in STEM for primary school age students, to supporting post-graduates and women already pursuing STEM careers, and encouraging entrepreneurship among women.” Minister Hunt said.
“This is part of a concerted, national effort to overcome the cultural, institutional and organisational factors that discourage girls and women from studying STEM and choosing careers that require STEM skills.”
Applications for a second round of the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship program will open in 2017.
For details on all projects funded see www.business.gov.au/womenSTEM