Our Advancing Women in STEM strategy highlights that attraction to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) begins from an early age. Stereotypical views about STEM study and careers and a lack of role models are some of the factors that influence girls’ early interest in STEM.
To address these barriers, our strategy identified that we need to make women more visible in STEM. We need to show:
As a key part of our efforts, Minister Andrews recently launched the Future You initiative, funded through the National Awareness Raising Initiative. Future You aims to inspire girls to participate in STEM subjects and consider where these can take them in their future careers. Australian Government Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, leads the Future You initiative.
The initiative’s main feature is the Future You website for children aged 8 to 12, and their parents and carers. The website provides information about different jobs that use STEM skills. A series of animated videos and skill-based games feature 12 diverse characters with different STEM-skilled jobs.
The diversity of the characters breaks down stereotypes about who can work in STEM and where these subjects can take them. They highlight the exciting and interesting things people do with STEM skills in a wide range of fields and how their work has a positive social impact.