Women with STEM qualifications play an important role across a broad variety of STEM and non-STEM roles in the Australian Public Service (APS). Critical thinking and problem solving skills provided by a STEM education help ensure government policy, programs and research are evidence-based.
The APS is a large employer of STEM-qualified people.
In 2019, 21% of APS employee census respondents with a higher education qualification reported a STEM field as the main focus of their qualification. Women comprised 34% of these respondents. Women’s representation was highest at the Graduate APS level, where they represented 41% of STEM qualified graduates, and lowest at the Executive Level 2 level, where they represented 26% of STEM-qualified respondents.
Of STEM-qualified women respondents to the APS employee census, 2% were at Senior Executive Service levels, while 3% of non-STEM-qualified women were at Senior Executive Service levels. The largest number of STEM qualified women respondents was at the APS 5‑6 level, where there were 2135 (35%) women with STEM qualifications.
Understanding the data
The APS employee census is an annual voluntary survey administered to all eligible APS employees. The data included for the APS are self-reported and reflect the actual classifications respondents held at the time of the survey, rather than their substantive classification level. Respondents are asked to report their main focus of tertiary qualification, which includes university and VET qualifications.
In 2019, responses were received from 104,471 APS employees, representing 77% of the eligible APS workforce. The visualisation above only includes data on APS employees who reported having a tertiary qualification.
Read more about our methodology and this data.