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Accelerating Gender Equity in STEM

The Australian Government’s 2023 STEM Equity Monitor shows that Australia’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce is growing, but women’s representation is still far below parity. 

Overall, Australia’s STEM-qualified workforce has grown by approximately 300,000 people in the past decade. About one third of this growth has been driven by women. However, women still only represent 15% of people working in STEM-qualified occupations in 2022. 

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador, has welcomed the new data, saying “Progress towards gender equity in STEM is positive, but organisations must accelerate their efforts with concerted, coordinated, and evidence-based action.” 

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, the Australian Government's Women in STEM Ambassador

Research from the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador informs how organisations can drive the transformative change needed to achieve gender equity in STEM and further grow Australia’s STEM-skilled workforce.

This research reveals that initiatives designed to drive gender equity in workplaces are most effective when policies and programs are used together and are centrally coordinated. This approach offers effective governance with the benefits of consistency, high-quality evaluation and longevity, as well as maximising the resources allocated to achieving gender equity.

Evidence also supports the need for workplaces to prioritise gender equity policies over programs designed to support women. Workplace support programs are most effective when delivered alongside policy, but alone they have limited impact.

The Women in STEM Ambassador’s team has developed guides and tools to support workplaces to develop and successfully implement evidence-based gender equity policies and programs, and evaluate their effectiveness. 

“The 2023 STEM Equity Monitor highlights the importance of policies for achieving real change, which is a key finding of our research. Women’s development programs aren’t going to fix the problem,” says UNSW Associate Professor Lisa Williams, who coordinates and contributes to the Women in STEM Ambassador’s research activities. 

The 2023 STEM Equity Monitor reveals areas of progress and challenge in achieving gender equity in STEM. By deploying gender equity policies and programs together, Australia can make significant strides towards a more equitable STEM workforce.  

Media contacts

For further information contact Becky Laurence,, 0406 534 141

Workplace Equity

Explore the evidence-based tools we've developed to support transformative action for equity in STEM workplaces.

Learn more about our research

We lead two research projects to examine gender equity in grant programs in the Australian research sector.