A recent report found Australia’s workforce is currently experiencing the sharpest rise in demand for women in STEM jobs in several years. The study also found that government departments, travel and tourism, and financial services businesses are hiring men and women for STEM jobs at an equal level.
Report author Matthew Gribble believes this increase is partly due to government programs aiming to encourage girls and women to consider a career in tech. “We are seeing heavy investment from federal and state governments as well as private sector in developing STEM-based curriculums,” Gribble said.
At a federal level, the Australian government included $13 million in its $1 billion Innovation Statement at the end of 2015 to promote gender diversity. One of these initiatives, launched late last year, included $3.9 million in funding granted to 24 organizations to support the rollout of a number of projects to encourage girls and women to study and pursue careers in STEM.
“Our future economy will be based on ideas – and there is no better business plan than allowing every Victorian to reach their potential,” Australian Minister for Innovation Philip Dalidakis said. “It’s good for them – and it’s good for the rest of the state.”
He goes on to note that initiatives to help include more women in traditionally male-dominated fields like science and engineering, drives job markets, innovation, and economic success.
“Small businesses employ more people than any other part of the economy. It’s also where much of our innovation is coming from – we want all Australians to benefit, regardless of their gender.”