The Australian Academy of Science is consulting to develop a ten-year plan to boost women in STEM, funding science and tech initiatives aimed at women and running a series of workshops around the country.
In June, the federal government committed $4.5 million in new funding for measures to encourage women to pursue careers in technical disciplines, building on around $13 million of previous investments made through the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Yesterday, the minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews announced the commencement of work on this initiative — a discussion paper and national series of consultative workshops.
“Increasing participation in STEM by girls and women isn’t just about equity and individual opportunity: it is about the strength of Australia’s research and our scientific and business capability,” she said.
“As the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology and a mechanical engineer – one of the first two female graduates from the Queensland University of Technology – I am passionate about this issue.”
One of the first projects to receive funding under the new allocation is Young Women Leaders in Artificial Intelligence program, launched today. The program, which has secured funding from the Australian Federal Government’s Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) program, will be built around an annual leadership camp, and provide successful applicants with ongoing mentorship, local events and a pool of scholarship opportunities to support career advancement.
Celeste de Mezieres, Griffith University electronic and biomedical engineering student said: “The field of engineering is rapidly evolving to integrate AI and machine learning algorithms into standard practice. One aspect that these systems struggle to emulate is emotional intelligence (EI) and as research indicates, this is an area that women often excel in.”
The first six-day leadership camp for around 75 women will launch in April 2019 on the Gold Coast.
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