Territory's Women in STEM Decadal Plan update

Women in STEM

The Territory Government is also committed to supporting women in leadership and STEM careers with the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade recognised as a Women in STEM Champion for the Australian Academy of Science Women in STEM Decadal Plan

The Women in STEM Decadal Plan provides a shared vision for the STEM ecosystem to attract, retain and progress girls and women in STEM education and careers. Gender equity in STEM will make significant and measurable improvements in Australia's:

  • preparedness for the future
  • workforce participation
  • economic performance
  • scientific impacts
  • creativity and entrepreneurial activities.

The plan highlights six areas of focus for champions of the plan to work towards and report on:

  • visibility
  • education
  • workplace culture
  • evaluation
  • leadership
  • industry action.

The department is in the process of providing an update to its response to the plan with some highlights on the areas of focus below:



  • Supporting the Department of Education's STEM in the Territory Strategy.
  • Participation in the Supporting Girls in STEM initiative including the establishment of the Australian Virtual STEM Academy.
  • The introduction of the Step into STEM mentorship program.
  • Opening of a new centres for STEM in Taminmin College in 2018, Darwin High School in 2020 and Casuarina Senior College in 2022.

Workplace Culture

  • The government’s Gender Equality Statement of Commitment highlights our goal to be a gender equality role model for business and not-for-profit areas to emulate and follow.
  • Overall, females represent approximately 64% of the Northern Territory public service (NTPS), and have greater representation across all salary ranges except those equal to or above $140,000 per annum. It should be noted however that, in this salary range, the difference in the representation of females to males is less than 1% (see graph below).
See above for description of graph
Salary ranges for Northern Territory Public Service by gender.


  • Findings of a preliminary NTPS gender pay gap audit show that the gender pay gap across the NTPS reduced from 10.3% in June 2012 to 6.73% in 2020. This compares favourably to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency statistics for the national public sector pay gap, which was 10.6%; and the total NT workforce, which was 13% at the time the audit was undertaken.


  • The Women’s Leadership Network, facilitated by the Department of Chief Minister and Cabinet, was established in 2018 with the aim of supporting, inspiring and facilitating existing and emerging female leaders to reach their full potential. The network hosts monthly events featuring high-profile women who inspire, educate and motivate, and in 2020 a mentorship program was piloted.

Industry action

  • The Territory Government continues to support the commitment made by the Minister for Women, Lauren Moss, to ensure all government boards and advisory committees meet the target of 50:50 gender representation.  As at 20 September 2021, gender representation on Northern Territory Government boards was Male 55.6% (839) and Female 44.4% (671).
  • A number of scholarships are available through CDU for Territory women experiencing economic, social, cultural or geographic disadvantage. Over $45,000 is made available each year in scholarships for both vocational education and training, and higher education streams to improve employment and general life outcomes for Territory women. There is a focus on supporting women entering science, information technology and engineering occupations and education streams.

The Territory Government looks forward to continuing to champion the advancement of women in STEM with the full update to be published on the Australian Academy of Science Women in STEM Decadal Plan website.

Article last updated on 28 April 2022