Australian Space Diversity Alliance formed

By on 27 March, 2024
Three of the ASDA co-founders (left to right): Anntonette Dailey, Linda Spurr and Cassandra Steer.

The Australian Space Diversity Alliance (ADSA) has been established by a group of space industry professionals to support greater participation and innovation of diverse and under-represented groups in the sector.

The eight ASDA co-founders include leaders from across the Australian space industry representing technology, higher education, government and consultancy.

Alongside supporting senior leaders in the space sector to take steps towards equal access and inclusion, ASDA aims to minimise the barriers that marginalised groups face in entering or staying in space careers.

“Evidence shows that more diverse workforces are correlated with greater innovation, better decision-making, greater collaboration, and longer employee retention,” said Spiral Blue Business Development Officer, Mei He.

According to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, women represent on average only 20% of the international space industry, a figure that has remained stagnant over the last 30 years. In Australia, women make up only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and maths.

According to ASDA, the participation of women in the space sector in Australia is likely closer to 20%, with other minority groups even lower, at less than 5%.

“There is an enormous opportunity for Australia to be both a global leader and representative of our nation, striving for equality and diverse leadership right from the start of our relatively young space sector,” said the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership Deputy Director, Dr Elise Stephenson.

ASDA is being launched with the support of multiple government agencies.

The ASDA co-founders are:

  • Caz Craven, Advisor and PhD student, the Australian Space Agency and Flinders University
  • Anntonette Dailey, Defence and Space Industry Advisor, Defence Council of Victoria
  • Mei He, Business Development Officer at Spiral Blue
  • Tiffany Sharp, Director Space Research and Development, Cambrian Executive
  • Linda Spurr, Director Leadership Talent & Culture, Raytheon Australia
  • Dr Cassandra Steer, Deputy Director – Mission Specialists, the Australian National University Institute for Space (InSpace)
  • Dr Elise Stephenson, Deputy Director, Global Institute for Women’s Leadership
  • Stephanie Wan, Associate Director, and Space Industry Practice lead for Adelaide, KPMG

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