Gender equality has been the topic of considerable attention in 2017, and rightly so. As active champions for the role of women in modern workplaces, Hill Rogers is delighted to highlight a 12-month strategic initiative from Science and Technology Australia (STA), Australia’s peak body in science and technology. The Superstars of STEM program runs from July 2017 to July 2018 – and while it’s very much about science it’s also about business, an area where we’ve been able to offer expertise and support.

Creating role model ‘superstars’ for Australian women

Superstars of STEM was created to showcase the importance of women in business and science by challenging society’s gender assumptions about scientists and increase the public visibility of women in science-based professions and industries. As Professor Emma Johnston, President of STA, explains, “The Superstars of STEM program will help to bust the myth that the typical scientist is an old man in a lab coat.”

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for ‘Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths’. These are fields where Australian women have been traditionally, and often significantly, underrepresented. To address this imbalance, the STA is currently working with 30 of the nation’s most dynamic scientists and technologists to create inspiring and highly visible role models for young Australian women and girls, with the goal of achieving equal representation in the media of men and women in STEM.

To do it, the STA is equipping these science ‘superstars’ with advanced communication skills and providing them with the opportunities to use them – in the media, on the stage and in speaking with key influencers and decision-makers. The program is also connecting participants through a mentoring network, encouraging them to learn from other successful women who have crafted a profile for themselves and who already serve as role models.

According to Professor Johnston, the positive impacts of the program will be felt by generations of Australian women as they enter the workforce. “By seeing these inspiring women and the very different work they do, many younger women and girls will believe they can be scientists too and pursue a rewarding career in STEM,” she says.

Good for women, good for Australia

While the Superstars of STEM program has been specifically created to support and inspire Australian women, it’s clear the long-term benefits will be enjoyed by the entire nation. The changing nature of the Australian workforce is seeing STEM skills becoming increasingly important. By encouraging more of our brightest young minds, both male and female, to pursue careers in the STEM sector it will only benefit Australia’s future for generations to come.

If you’d like to find out more about this initiative or learn more about Hill Rogers, contact Vishal Modi here.

You can find out more about Science and Technology Australia and how they support STEM professionals here.