Grants of up to $1 million to support new scholarships to encourage women and girls to secure science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs has been offered by the federal government.
Round four of the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) program has opened, with $13 million available to strengthen and expand projects that are driving lasting and systemic change by removing barriers to STEM for women and girls.
This round offers the largest amount of funding to date, with grants of $500,000 to $1 million being offered.
The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) is today being announced as the successful delivery partner of the Government’s Boosting the Next Generation of Women in STEM program.
ATSE will be awarded $41.2 million to offer up to 500 university scholarships for women to work with industry and bolster their STEM qualifications.
ATSE will deliver the scholarships over seven years, starting this July.
Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the WISE grants and the scholarships would be pivotal in supporting efforts for gender equity in STEM.
“While progress is being made, girls and women continue to be under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics employment areas,” Minister Price said.
“These WISE grants and the scholarships will help boost the numbers of girls and women in this growing sector. We’ve seen throughout the COVID pandemic just how important the STEM sector is to protecting Australians, which is why the Morrison Government is committed to increasing women’s participation in this essential and growing field. It’s also important that we see more women in leadership and decision-making positions, and the WISE program is designed with this in mind. The Scholarships program will also focus on increasing cooperation between researchers, industry and students.”
The Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith welcomed the announcements.
“With a renewed emphasis on programs that target lasting change to policies, procedures, attitudes and behaviours, the WISE grants will help create the system-wide change our nation needs to attract, retain and progress women in the STEM sector,” Professor Harvey-Smith said.
“The Government’s focus on programs that are already running and have proven effective through evaluation means we are investing in initiatives that can show evidence of their success. By upscaling such programs, the impact across the nation can be even greater. Alongside WISE, industry scholarships will support the progression and retention of women, creating a pipeline of women STEM leaders.”
Round four of the WISE grants will focus on supporting successful existing projects that reduce or remove systemic and cultural barriers to participation in STEM education, careers and entrepreneurship.
A website for the Boosting the Next Generation of Women in STEM program will be developed with ATSE, as part of the co-design of the program.