Australia’s Labour Force Survey reports how many women and men work in occupations each year.
Compare the number of women and men working in STEM occupations, non-STEM occupations and health occupations over different years.
In 2020, women’s participation in STEM-qualified occupations decreased by 1 percentage point to 13% from 14% in 2019. Previously it had increased by 3 percentage points over the period of 2009 to 2019. The number of women in these occupations rose from approximately 139,000 in 2009 to 205,000 in 2020. Numbers of women in 2020 dropped slightly from 2019.
For comparison, women have comprised almost 50% of people in non-STEM occupations since 2009.
Over the 2009 to 2020 period, the proportion of women in university STEM-qualified occupations and in mixed STEM-qualified occupations increased from 19% to 21%.
Data for occupations where a majority of the workforce is VET STEM-qualified have consistently shown extremely low gender balance. Women comprised only 2% of this group in 2020, the same proportion as in 2009. The highest proportion of women in these occupations over this period was 3% in 2019.
About the data
We determined the number of people in each occupation by averaging the numbers in the 4 quarterly Labour Force Survey reports for each year. These numbers are not rounded due to small numbers in some fields.
This survey reports occupations using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) at a 4-digit level. We defined STEM-qualified occupations by identifying occupations in which the majority of people reported a qualification in a STEM field of education in the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. We further classified occupations by the source of the majority of participants’ qualifications—university, VET, or a combination of both (mixed).
Read more about our methodology and this data