Girls now make up 52 per cent of science enrolments and 48 per cent of mathematics enrolments in the final year of school, new government figures show. More than a third of students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at university are women, while women also outperform men in STEM subjects at university on average.
But that doesn’t translate to the workplace. The proportion of women in STEM-qualified occupations was only 15 per cent in 2022, up from 10 per cent two decades ago in 2002. And women in STEM are paid $27,012 less than men on average, a wider-than-average pay gap.
This SMH article explains that while most Australian programs encouraging gender equity in STEM focus on school or university, it’s the workplace is where things really need to change.
“When it comes to workplaces, we still have a long way to go to a real systemic structural approach about promoting and retaining women in the workforce,” said SAGE CEO Dr Janin Bredehoeft.