Smashing gender stereotypes: meet the new Superstars of STEM

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3 December 2020

What does a scientist, an engineer, or a mathematician look like?

Minister Andrews has unveiled 60 new faces joining the Superstars of STEM initiative; amazing women working across a wide range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles.

The initiative, run by Science & Technology Australia, is working to break down stereotypes about people who work in STEM. It does this by providing a diverse and talented group of women with advanced communication skills and public opportunities to use them. By increasing the visibility of women in STEM, the initiative is closing the gender gap in STEM-related media coverage, and creating role models for girls and young women.

One of the new Superstars is Dr Alexandra Campbell, a seaweed researcher and co-founder of the Seaweed Research Group at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Dr Campbell leads projects that investigate how seaweeds can restore damaged ecosystems, improve food production and enhance human health.

Other dynamic women joining Superstars of STEM include Priyanka Pillai, a health informatics specialist, and proud Tharawal woman Renne Wootton, an aerospace engineer and commercial pilot.

Since Superstars of STEM started in 2017, it has delivered exceptional results. So far, the program’s 90 Superstars have reached more than 30 million people, created over 4,800 media mentions, and engaged more than 18,000 kids.

The new Superstars will start their training and work in 2021. The Superstars of STEM initiative is one of the actions the government is taking to increase the visibility of women in STEM, as part of our Advancing Women in STEM strategy.

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