Science & Technology Australia has once again embarked on a nationwide search for Australia’s next constellation of Superstars or STEM, the government-backed initiative to promote gender equality by raising awareness of women in science and technology.
The program is open to women and non-binary STEM professionals, with 60 to choose in this round. Since 2017, it has mentored 150 Superstars, including Nicole Russo, Director of Product at spacetech startup Myriota.
Misha Schubert, CEO of Science & Technology Australia, said the program has tangibly helped several young Australians see themselves in science and technology careers.
“It’s very hard to be what you can’t see. “Authors are about half the Australian population — and yet they are severely underrepresented in STEM careers and leadership, and ultimately only one in three experts talking about science in the media were women,” she said.
“To solve the visibility challenges, we need to create even more diverse role models who are household names who regularly appear in the media as scientific experts and authorities.”
Minister of Industry and Science Ed Husic said the government is committed to: supporting programs that help women in STEM develop the skills to confidently communicate about their research and be recognized for their work.
“Australia must leverage the full diversity of our talent pool to deliver the next massive scientific and technological breakthroughs and drive STEM equality between men and women to strengthen our skilled workforce,” he said.
Superstar of VOICE Dr. Cayt Rowe, a STEM research leader at Defense Science and Technology Group (DSTG) at the Department of Defense, said visible role models matter.
“In its first few years, the Superstars of STEM program has been launched to powerfully increase the visibility of Australian women in science,” she said.
“It has shown how building a media profile can boost careers, securing leadership roles.”
The following 60 Superstars of STEM will participate in the program for two years starting January 2023 details are here and closes on Sunday 14 August.