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MEDIA RELEASE: Women in STEM initiative cannot coexist with the war on science

3 Apr 19

Women in STEM initiative cannot coexist with the war on science

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) says that the women in STEM initiatives announced by the Federal Government are a cold comfort as science has been starved of funding in recent years.

While $3.4 million has been announced for science gender equity programs, $328 million has been ripped from research funding over the past year and a half.

In other words, only 1% of the cut to research funding has been returned via the women in STEM initiatives.

CAPA supports the increased investment to lift women’s participation in the STEM workforce, however this is irrelevant if research is not properly funded. There is no point creating the digital awareness initiative for women in science, when graduates of science degrees face poor career prospects in Australia due to the government’s sustained war on science.

We reiterate our call for national investment to be equal to 3% of GDP.

We echo statements from Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) and Science & Technology Australia (STA) that improvements to gender equity in science can only be achieved with investment in STEM research.

“We need stable research funding and support for this program to be effective. Increased funding for women in STEM awareness is counterproductive if there is no workforce for women to end up in,” says CAPA Women’s Officer, Romana-Rea Begicevic.

For comment:
CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993