Building a more resilient, diverse and inclusive STEM future

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) welcomes the release of the Diversity in STEM review, in particular the focus on proactive inclusion, equity, fairness and safety, and a place at the STEM research and development table for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The report’s recommendations present an actionable roadmap for enhancing diversity and inclusion within STEM fields, revealing an urgent need for committed efforts across government, industry, academia, community, and education sectors to move the needle on boosting diversity in STEM.

Encouraging more women in STEM

ATSE welcomes the recommendation for expanding ATSE’s Elevate: Boosting women in STEM program – the Australian Government’s flagship STEM undergraduate and post-graduate scholarship program enabling diverse people to thrive in STEM – to more diverse cohorts of STEM scholars.

ATSE also welcomes the recommendation for Learned Academies to take a lead position in working with Australia’s first scientists and engineers to weave Traditional Knowledge into science and research systems.

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ATSE CEO, Kylie Walker, says that these recommendations, if implemented, will help build a better, fairer, and more resilient STEM future for Australia.

“ATSE agrees with the recommendation to develop a national whole-of-government strategy and an advisory council for diversity in STEM. To make significant and lasting change, these efforts need to be more deliberate and cross-sectoral. It will be critical for this Council to be backed by a whole-of-government approach and have adequate resourcing to effect systemic change.

“We are proud to implement the Government’s largest single diversity in STEM investment – the Elevate: Boosting women in STEM scholarship program. This review gives ample backing for the program to expand and embrace more diverse cohorts and shape a more diverse STEM sector in the long-term.

“We are also pleased to see recognition that Learned Academies have an integral role in working with Traditional Knowledge holders to help weave their 60,000+ years of scientific and engineering achievement into western science and technology. A partnership based on mutual respect and awareness is essential for producing new innovations,” says Ms Walker.

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Elevating opportunities – for an innovative future

Many of the review’s recommendations echo ATSE’s submissions to the review, including developing a centralised strategy for diversity in STEM, using government grant criteria to encourage uptake of diversity initiatives, and basing programs on evidence and best practice.

ATSE commends the Review panel, led by Dr Sally-Ann Williams FTSE and looks forward to working with the government to implement these recommendations in full and stands ready to utilise its best practice programs – from STELR, which is supporting diverse learning in over 900 schools, through to making the Elevate scholarship program available to even more aspiring diverse scientists, technologists and engineers.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]