Portrait of Prof Lisa Harvey Smith

The Women in STEM Ambassador program has contributed high quality research, tools and resources to help us understand how to support more girls and women to thrive in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Professor Harvey-Smith began her role as the inaugural Women in STEM Ambassador in 2018. For almost 6 years, she has been a visible role model to girls and women in STEM.

The Australian Government established the Women in STEM Ambassador program to advance gender equity in STEM as part of the Advancing Women in STEM Strategy. The government invested $4.8 million in the program from 2018-19 to 2023-24. 

Key achievements during Professor Harvey-Smith's term includes:

  • Launching Future You – a national awareness-raising initiative to get 8-12 year olds interested in STEM. The Australian Government funded Future You between 2019 and May 2024. From June 2024 the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Sydney will fund Future You.
  • Supporting 152 STEM equity programs via the STEM Equity Evaluation Portal – a database and best practice guide for the STEM sector to evaluate equity programs.
  • Directly engaging 100,000 people through talks and events.
  • Improving the evidence base for action through research such as the Grants by Gender study – looking at the award of research grants in Australia by the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council according to awardee gender.

Between 2018 and 2022, the number of women working in STEM-qualified industries in Australia increased by 38%. Women enrolling in STEM courses also increased by 18% between 2018 and 2021.

The Pathway to Diversity in STEM Review: Final Recommendations recognised the contribution of the Women in STEM Ambassador. This independent review called for targeted changes to the government’s suite of women in STEM programs. As part of this change, the objectives of the Women in STEM Ambassador program will be pursued through other programs.

The Ambassador was based at UNSW. You can still access key information on the UNSW website.

Access the Women in STEM Ambassador resources on the UNSW website

Explore evidence-informed research and tools the Ambassador developed to address inequities in STEM.

Visit the Future You website

Explore free resources for teachers and parents to inspire kids aged 8 to 12 to explore STEM themes.