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Celebrating International Women’s Day in a COVID-19 world

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8 March 2021

COVID-19 has changed the way we do many things. We’ve all had to adapt. But, globally, COVID-19 has highlighted persisting gender inequality; in particular that women carry a disproportionate burden of care. And this, in turn, affects women’s employment security.

International Women’s Day (IWD) challenges us to take action for gender equality.

The global UN Women’s theme for IWD is ‘Women in Leadership: achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’. It celebrates the efforts by girls and women in shaping a more equal future, and acknowledges how central women’s contributions are to decision making.

Watch our video

See what 3 leading women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have to say about achieving an equal future.

Transcript

There is so much to be done in this world and you are the best person to do it.

Achieving an equal future, for me, means addressing a lot of our historical injustices and structural inequalities in support of a safer and a better healthcare future for everybody.

We must press on the journey to achieving equal future. A future where women, and particularly women of diverse backgrounds and abilities, can participate fully and equally in leadership roles.

Achieving an equal future for me means that we don’t just recognise the important contribution made by women, but that we actively seek it out, and we celebrate it.

Leadership means being brave enough to start difficult conversations and also see them through.

Leadership is about commitment. Good leaders help their people grow. They inspire them to do their very best in the organisation.

Leadership means having a strong purpose and persevering for good, even if it becomes challenging.

Own your individuality and own your identity. The world does need you. So dare to challenge, demand the change and be inspired by Australia’s amazing women leaders. Particularly women in STEM leaders.

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day

I wish you a very happy International Women’s Day Australia.

About our leading women

  • Dr Kudzai Kanhutu is an infectious diseases physician, Deputy Medical Information Officer at Royal Melbourne Hospital and a Superstar of STEM. She has been a frontline worker throughout COVID-19.
  • Dr Wafa El-Adhami is Executive Director of Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), and an expert in health policy.
  • Kate Cole is an engineer and certified occupational hygienist. She is a member of Australia’s National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce and a Superstar of STEM.

Advancing women in STEM

STEM capability is critical to finding solutions to COVID-19, and to an equal future.

In Australia, women and girls continue to be underrepresented across STEM education and careers, especially in information technology and engineering. And, even where there are higher proportions of women, they are still underrepresented in leadership roles.

Explore the current state of STEM gender equity in Australia in our STEM Equity Monitor. It’s a national data report that follows the STEM pathway from primary school to the workforce.

The Australian Government is committed to driving STEM gender equity so that Australia accesses its entire pool of talent. This includes women in all their diversity. The Advancing Women in STEM strategy sets out our vision of a society that provides equal opportunity for people of all genders to learn, work and engage in STEM.

Promoting women entrepreneurs

For IWD, the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology opened a new $11.6 million funding round under the Boosting Female Founders (BFF) Initiative. This initiative helps women entrepreneurs overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support.

Expressions of interest close on 22 April 2021.

Read more about BFF and how to apply on business.gov.au

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Connect with us

Follow the conversation at #IWD2021 on:

Contact us

Email STEM@industry.gov.au