Fed Govt announces $16m grant to strengthen women in STEM

The Federal Government has earmarked $15.9 million in new grants for 17 projects to support women building careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Under the latest round of the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WiSE) program, grants of between $500,000 and $1 million would be provided to projects that “have increased awareness of STEM education and improved opportunities for girls or women to build skills and succeed in STEM careers”.

The successful projects are grants for:

  • GMIC Geelong Manufacturing Council ($954,000) to support the Women in Manufacturing Network to partner with VET institutions and industry;
  • University of Melbourne ($998,000) to place 113 female STEM postgraduate students into industry internships;
  • University of Western Australia ($879,000) to train 200 female teachers, who will then teach quantum computing to 11-15 year old girls;
  • Food Futures Company ($975,000) to scale up projects aimed at increasing participation of Indigenous women in the agrifood sector;
  • RBG Enterprises ($999,000) for the WILD On Board program to provide opportunities for women leaders to gain board positions;
  • Code Like a Girl ($880,000) to expand its School of Code program, with an expanded course program and internship placement; and
  • Indigenous Entrepreneur Network ($951,000) for culturally-appropriate coaching and training, and to build business networks to help Indigenous women and girls to thrive.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said the first three rounds of the WiSE program had provided $10 million for 54 projects.

“We want to make sure that more women find lasting, rewarding and successful careers in STEM fields regardless of their background,” the Minister said.

“Our focus is on supporting opportunity for Australians from all corners of the community into rewarding STEM careers. The WiSE grants focus on projects that remove systemic and cultural barriers for women in STEM education, careers, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“The grants program supports projects that increase the number of women in senior leadership and decision-making positions in government, research organisations, industry and business.”