Science & Technology Australia is proud to support the establishment of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Women in Science, Maths and Engineering.
“I welcome the strong support by political leaders for initiatives to promote and facilitate the participation of women in science, maths and engineering, said Professor Michael Holland, STA President.
“The establishment of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Women in Science, Maths and Engineering shows that parliamentarians have heard the call to action when it comes to reversing the under-representation of women in science, particularly at senior levels.
“We know that more women are studying science at university than men, but they’re not staying in the field. We train them up then fail to keep them in the business because practical and equitable career pathways aren’t available when it counts.
“We’re losing our highly trained, smart women mid-career and the Australian economy and the science sector is poorer for it.
“As a nation, we are not successfully supporting their transition into independent research careers and science leadership positions.
“It costs more money to lose women in science than to make changes to keep them in the profession.
“When women leave the workforce with them goes hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment in their education and training and national productivity, innovation and international competitiveness suffer.
“Australia simply cannot afford to not make the most of such a significant component of our workforce, intellect and creativity.
“Retaining this highly specialised workforce must be a priority. It is a workforce taxpayers willingly invest in because the return is delivered in better health care, in hi-tech devices, in superior mining and defence capabilities, to name just a few.
“Industry is crying out for chemists, physicists and engineers to support the mining boom, to build essential infrastructure such as the Synchrotron, the NBN, and the giant telescope (the Square Kilometre Array). But girls aren’t doing the right subjects at school and university to get to and remain in these jobs, Professor Holland concluded.
Science & Technology Australia has been a strong advocate for issues affecting women in science.
This initiative builds on the seminal 2009 STA report “Women in Science in Australia: Maximising Productivity, Diversity and Innovation” and the Women in Science & Engineering Summit in 2011.
For more information visit www.sta.org.au