This blog is dedicated to updating members and guests with news and developments relating to STEM.
  • 24 Mar 2019 2:12 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    11 February marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It’s a day established by the UN General Assembly to address global gender inequality in STEM,highlighting why women still struggle to achieve gender equality in the field, and promoting the full and equal participation of women and girls in science. 

    Women make up half of our Australiancommunity and the number of women completing university degrees in STEM is equivalent to male counterparts. Yet there has been no change in the ‘scissor graph’ demographic showing that women continue to be excluded from fully participating in science, with less than 30% of researchers worldwide being women.

    The award of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science to its first female recipient, Prof Jenny Graves AO brought recognition of excellence by a female scientist into the mainstream media.

    The Australian government has implemented the Women in STEM Decadal Plan, to provide a 10-year roadmap to identify the barriers and enablers that affect women’s participation, retention and success in STEM from school through to careers. There is an Expert Working Group that consults with community forums and selected stakeholders but it is essential women participate in high-level processes which shape the science agenda.

  • 05 Feb 2019 8:23 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Professor Tanya Monro made history this week after being appointed Australia’s new Chief Defence Scientist and the first woman to ever hold the role. Professor Monro is currently Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation and an ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia. In 2012 she became one of the youngest living Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science elected for ‘exceptional scientific contributions of international significance ’. Throughout her career she has been an advocate for diversity and inclusion and a champion of the Academy’s Science in Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative.

  • 24 Dec 2018 12:07 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The South Australian Museum is celebrating women scientists who have made significant contributions to science throughout history with a free rotating year-long exhibition. Her Story: Inspiring Women in Science honours four amazing South Australian women who are blazing their own trails and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps. By sharing their stories, these role models inspire the next generation of young women to follow their dreams and careers in science and humanities.

    The featured women are: Dr. Catherine Kemper, Senior Research Scientist for mammals at the South Australian Museum until 14 February; Prof Tanya Monro, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation at UniSA until 13 May 2019; Dr Hannah Brown, Postdoctoral Fellow in IVF at University of Adelaide, until 12 August 2019; and then Rebecca Richards, the first Aboriginal Australian Rhodes Scholar and Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Adelaide, until 15 November 2019.

  • 16 Dec 2018 10:49 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    For centuries, women have made important contributions to the sciences but, in many cases, it took far too long for their discoveries to be recognised — if they were acknowledged at all. And too often, books and academic courses that explore the history of science neglect the remarkable, groundbreaking women who changed the world.  Now is time to change this! This Mighty Girl blog shares the stories of 16 historic female scientists who have blazed new trails in their disciplines.  Share them with girls you know.

  • 09 Dec 2018 12:59 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Science communicator Dr Sarah Keenihan also reports in The Conversation that Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) recognised 15 Australian higher education and research institutions with Athena SWAN Bronze awards for their commitment to gender equity in STEM.  Dr Keenihan also reports that Australia’s first Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, will lead the Government’s national efforts to encourage girls and women to study and work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.  The Ambassador will raise awareness of the issues that can hold girls and women back from STEM study and work and of the opportunities available to girls and women in STEM, aiming to increase their participation.

  • 02 Dec 2018 8:32 AM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    The OECD report “Bridging the Digital Gender Divide” released in October 2018 reports the stubborn gap between men and women in STEM is evident from an early age and continues through university to the workplace. This report was produced at the request of the Australian Government to support advancement of the 2017 G20 Roadmap for Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future.

    Numerous speakers at the 2018 Global Meeting of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society agreed this gap needs to be addressed soon if women are to adjust to fast-changing job markets that increasingly require technological skills, or scientific proficiency.  Speaker Dr. Ahouansou said men still have a blind spot — not about women in management, but about women in technology. Lindsey Nedesh-Clarke who founded Women’s WorldWide Web (W4), an online crowdfunding platform that promotes girls and women in technology, asserts “It has nothing to do with cognitive abilities, that has been proven. It is about consistent, deeply entrenched stereotypes.”  

  • 24 Nov 2018 1:18 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    Astronomer Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith was announced as Australia’s first Women in STEM Ambassador in October.  She will help raise awareness about government programs aiming to get women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and will advocate for girls and women in STEM education, to help drive awareness on the need for cultural and social change on gender equity.

  • 26 Oct 2018 5:08 PM | Jean Murray (Administrator)

    This is the first posting in BPWA’s celebration of women in STEM.  Only 3 women have received the Nobel prize in physics in its 117-year history, yet there have been many amazing women physicists through that period.  Associate Professor Donna Strickland from Canada shares the 2018 prize with Arthur Ashkin and Gerard Mourou.


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