Aussie women urged to enter STEM industries

New research from Identilab, a laboratory specialising in paternity tests, has revealed that 15 per cent of Australian women believe it’s too hard to establish a career in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries, compared with nine per cent of Australian men.

The research also noted a significant lack of female role models in the STEM sector, with only 23 per cent of senior management in such industries being women.

Because of this, 53 per cent of women have expressed belief that the Government needs to do more to encourage women into STEM careers.

Former forensic scientist and Identilab founder Kate Pippia said that by attracting more women to the sector, the industry can tap into a larger pool of skilled individuals making use of their unique abilities and skills.

“I think women in leadership roles in STEM can be seen as very difficult and you don’t need to apologise for being a strong woman! I am very much interested in developing my team not only professionally, but personally,” Pippia said.

Pippia also related the findings to her own struggles to find adequate job opportunities in her field. She said, “I left – with nowhere else to go. I took an 18-month break from the workforce and then tried to get a job but couldn’t because of my very niche area of expertise. So, I had to take matters into my own hands and create my own job.”

The call for more women in STEM has come in time for National Science Week which runs from 12-20 August.

“National Science Week provides a platform to build interest in STEM and just have a go! If we can increase the number of women in the STEM industries, we can help break down gender stereotypes and encourage women to pursue careers in STEM,” Pippia said.