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More women in STEM and university internships the way forward

The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) welcomes the Coalition’s announcement to boost internships and post-school career advice supporting more women to lead successful careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

ATN Executive Director, Renee Hindmarsh said the additional funding of $31.2 million would make a significant impact in addressing the gender gap in STEM.

“At the core of our mission is to ensure all students have opportunity to achieve their full potential. We have always been committed to championing the principles of access and equity, and this additional funding would ensure our brightest minds continue to be supported, nurtured and inspired within our universities,” Ms Hindmarsh says.

Women make up about half the number of undergraduate university students studying STEM, but only 17% are senior academics in institutions across the country.

“Our universities are committed to reversing this trend by lifting the number of women in STEM fields with all five ATN universities signed up to the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot.

“The Coalition’s announcement to boost research internships will also equip students with the necessary skills to enter the modern workforce by developing valuable linkages with industry.

“Additional funding will support initiative like the ATN’s Industry Doctoral Training Centre
(IDTC) which combines a traditional PhD thesis with training in professional and broad technical skills required by industry.

“With two thirds of our research funding coming from end users and industry linked funds since 2010, the ATN has been a leading voice in promoting industry-university collaboration which is vital in building an innovative and prosperous nation,” Ms Hindmarsh says.