The recent webinar, hosted by Ai Group, shed light on the national priority of growing Australia’s STEM skilled workforce strategically. Experts at the event emphasised the need for action rather than mere acknowledgment of the issue. One of the key takeaways from the webinar was the gender disparity in STEM careers, with just one in 10 women finding employment in STEM industries five years after earning a STEM degree.
AMSI Director, Professor Tim Marchant, emphasised that mathematics serves as the foundation for numerous STEM disciplines, making it crucial to nurture mathematical skills from an early age. He highlighted the growing demand for STEM-related roles, such as data analytics, science, logistics, and finance, which heavily rely on fundamental mathematical expertise.
To address the gender imbalance and encourage more women to pursue STEM careers, Professor Marchant stressed the significance of encouraging students, especially girls and underrepresented groups, to continue their studies in higher-level mathematics and science subjects. This approach can help build a diverse and skilled workforce in the long run.
The Ai Group webinar also touched upon the challenges faced by the industry in hiring people with STEM skills. Experts like Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador, and Misha Schubert, CEO of Science and Technology Australia, highlighted the importance of collaboration between industry, research institutions, and government to position Australia at the forefront of science and technology advancements.