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A guide to support the implementation of workplace gender equity programs.

A new tool to improve gender equity in STEM workplaces has been released today.

Recent findings from the Australian government’s STEM Equity Monitor revealed that only 15 percent of Australia’s STEM-qualified workers are women, despite making up over half the population. The monitor also reported that only 1 in 10 women with a STEM qualification work in a STEM-qualified industry five years after graduating.

These issues need to be addressed if Australia is to achieve gender equity in STEM by 2030.

We need a diverse and highly-skilled workforce to become a global competitor in an increasingly technological world. But that won’t be realised whilst barriers to full participation persist, such as lack of flexible work arrangements, unequal carers leave entitlements and the gender pay gap.

Workplace Gender Equity: An Implementation Guide provides practical advice to people developing and implementing evidence-based workplace gender equity programs, and helps them to avoid common pitfalls.

“We need organisations to change the policies and norms that hold people back, so we don’t continue to perpetuate  disadvantage,” says Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador.

“Workplace change requires commitment and a dedicated investment of time, money and people. Our implementation guide will help organisations to effectively plan and carry out these changes, thus smoothing pathways into STEM careers.”

A growing number of organisations are aware of the need to implement gender equity initiatives in order to create a more diverse workforce. Well-intended, but poorly implemented programs can actually be detrimental, so care is needed.

“The guide is designed to help with the process of implementing gender equity programs in STEM organisations through specific, practical advice,” says Susan Barnes, lead author of the implementation guide.

“It breaks implementation down into a four-step process to give it the best chance of success.”

The free guide will support organisations to design initiatives that will directly address the problem they’re trying to solve, implement lasting change, and share what works to shift the dial on gender equity in STEM.

Development of the guide was supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

The Women in STEM Ambassador is an Australian Government Initiative to improve the participation of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Australia. Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith was appointed as the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador in 2018.

Media contacts

For further information contact Becky Laurence,, 0466 942 077

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.