The Australian Government’s JobMaker Plan announced on 6 October 2020 includes a range of initiatives to increase women’s workforce participation driven by the refreshed Women’s Economic Security Statement 2020. Focusing on women’s economic security, leadership and safety, $240.4 million has been committed across five priority areas:
- repair and rebuild women’s workforce participation and further close the gender pay gap
- greater choice and flexibility for families to manage work and care
- support women as leaders and positive role models
- respond to the diverse needs of women
- supporting women to be safe at work and home.
The renewed focus on women in STEM provides a huge opportunity for Territorians to increase their capacity and involvement in the sector, driving economic growth and increasing jobs.
It is important to increase female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in order to grow our workforce and strengthen our capacity to drive economic growth and increase jobs. The Federal Budget has committed to a range of support mechanisms.
- Commencing in 2021, $24.8 million will assist 500 women through STEM Industry Cadetships or Advanced Apprenticeships to support girls and women to study and enter STEM skilled jobs. This four-year program will support women to gain career experience and earn a salary at the same time as studying towards an industry-relevant, higher education advanced diploma in a STEM field, boosting women’s participation in both STEM-related learning and work.
- Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship (WISE) Grants Program will be expanded over two years from 2022-23, to support at least 20 additional projects. The program will fund projects led by business, industry and the community which focus on increasing girls’ and women’s participation in STEM. This builds on the success of the first two rounds of the WISE grants program, which have increased the skills of girls, women and educators to build interest and confidence in STEM.
- Girls in STEM Toolkit will be expanded over 2020-21 to 2023-24. The toolkit is a valuable online resource for students, parents and teachers which helps girls match their interests to careers in STEM and prepares them to engage in the STEM jobs of the future.
- Women in STEM Ambassador Program will be expanded for two years from 2022-23. The ambassador has been a positive advocate and established thought leader on STEM gender equity.
- Women @ Work is a $50 million initiative to expand:
- the existing Women’s Leadership and Development Program to help restore and exceed the pre-COVID-19 record levels of women’s workforce participation
- existing proven projects, including the Academy for Enterprising Girls and Women Building Australia
- the Boosting Female Founders initiative with $35.9 million for women entrepreneurs to access expert mentoring and business advice. The funding will support 282 start-ups and 4,300 mentoring engagements for female entrepreneurs to launch and scale their businesses into domestic and global markets.