The Australian Government has unveiled $15.9 million in new grants for 17 projects that are supporting women to enter STEM careers in a bid to boost the number of females in sectors such as science and technology.
Industry Minister Ed Husic announced on Tuesday the latest round of Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grants, which provide between $500,000 and $1m to expand successful projects.
The chosen projects need to have increased awareness of STEM education and improved opportunities for women to build skills and succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
One of the grant recipients, Perth-based Women in Technology WA, has been awarded $785,120 to deliver a complex project aimed at abolishing systemic barriers women face when participating in STEM careers.
“With WA STEM skills shortages at critical levels, and women in STEM careers stagnating despite multiple efforts from organisations Australia-wide, a multifaceted approach … is necessary and urgent,” WiTWA co-chair Kay Hargreaves said in a statement.
It is the largest grant the organisation has received since its inception in 1998.
The University of Western Australia also received $879,000 to train 200 women teachers, who will then teach quantum computing to girls aged 11-15.
Minister Husic said Labor wanted to ensure women could find lasting careers in STEM fields.
“The grants program supports project that increase the number of women in senior leadership and decision-making positions in government, research organisations, industry and business,” he said.
The first three rounds of the WiSE program have provided $10m for 54 project across Australia.