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Defence affirms commitment to gender equity

20 February 2020
L-R Bronwyn Evans; James Johnson; Adi Paterson; Tanya Monro; Brian Schmidt; Elizabeth Broderick
Chief Defence Scientist Tanya Monro, participates in a panel discussion at the Catalysing Gender Equity conference. L-R Bronwyn Evans; James Johnson; Adi Paterson; Tanya Monro; Brian Schmidt; Elizabeth Broderick

Defence has reaffirmed its commitment to gender equity, partnering with the Australian Academy of Science to support the inaugural 'Catalysing Gender Equity' conference, an event aimed at accelerating transformative and sustained change within the STEM sector to achieve true gender equality.

Held in Adelaide on 20 and 21 February, the event has attracted high profile advocates of women in STEM including Professor Caroline McMillen; the Chief Scientist of South Australia, Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the SMaRT Centre UNSW Sydney; Dr Larry Marshall, CEO of CSIRO, as well the Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro.

The Defence STEM council, chaired by Professor Monro is spearheading the push towards gender equity across the Defence enterprise.

"Defence is reliant on our STEM workforce to deliver a technology-edge," she explains.

"To enable us to meet the Defence and national security challenges of today and the future, it's critical that we build a world-leading STEM-capable workforce.

"And we can only build a world-leading STEM-capable workforce if we increase the depth and diversity of the talent pool. Increasing the participation rate of women is critical to achieving that."

The conference focussed on tangible actions and initiatives that can bring about change.

Further demonstrating its commitment to achieving gender equity, Defence has joined a long list of eminent institutions who have signed up to be champions of the Women in STEM Decadal Plan, a shared vision for the STEM sector to attract, retain and advance girls and women in STEM education and careers.

As a Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion, Defence has committed to supporting this industry-wide effort to drive gender equity in the STEM eco-system.