PHD candidate, Raji Bhaskaran Nair, wearing protective gloves and working on a dilution refrigerator.

Photo credit: Sydney Quantum Academy

The panel’s recommendations aim to create structural and cultural change within Australia’s STEM system to make greater diversity and inclusion possible.

The report details 11 recommendations across 4 themes. 

  • government coordination and leadership
  • creating safe and inclusive workplaces
  • lifelong learning
  • changing perceptions and valuing diverse knowledge.

The report recommends a long-term strategy to drive coordinated and impactful actions to increase diversity in STEM. This includes establishing an advisory council with expertise and lived experience to guide its implementation, building on the foundation Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador has created. 

The long-term strategy also outlines an approach to designing and delivering government programs to increase diversity in STEM. This includes ways to improve the current suite of women in STEM programs the Australian Government funds, to attract and retain more diverse people along STEM pathways.

The personal stories of hundreds of people and organisations across Australia’s STEM landscape informed the review. It also drew on evidence, including research reports the government commissioned:

  • Initiatives for workplace equity and inclusion report by the Office of Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador
  • Big Mob: STEM it Up research report by the University of Queensland
  • STEM career pathways report by Science & Technology Australia for the National Science and Technology Council
  • Research assessment in Australia: Evidence for modernisation report by the Australian Council of Learned Academies
  • Women in STEM initiatives evaluation report, an independent review by ACIL Allen

The recommendations align with and support recent reports guiding broader education and employment policy. These include:

  • the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce advice
  • the Australian Universities Accord interim report 
  • Working future: The Australian Government’s white paper on jobs and opportunities.

The government is considering the panel’s recommendations.