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Girl Geek Academy co-founder and CEO Sarah Moran

Women in STEM demand urgent action amid delayed diversity review

Women in technology groups are criticizing the Diversity in STEM Review conducted by the Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic MP, for delaying urgent action on addressing the underrepresentation of girls in STEM.

The review’s consultation period, announced on Friday afternoon, will evaluate current programs aimed at increasing participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths by underrepresented groups.

In response, Girl Geek Academy has launched a national petition urging the Federal Government to take immediate action, lift its funding freeze on STEM programs, and invest in the future of girls.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the UN theme being ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future’, Girl Geek Academy CEO and Founder Sarah Moran accused the government of burying a gender-equal future in a present of red tape.

She argued that the review is a brake on critical funding, resulting in a funding freeze on new initiatives to address gender inequality in STEM and entrepreneurship until the third year of Labor’s term. Moran emphasized that women cannot bear breaks in funding because it breaks them.

Girl Geek Academy is calling on the Federal Government to announce a Cracking The Code Fund immediately and boost support to community STEM programs by increasing its funding, which is currently under review until October.

However, recommendations are unlikely to be funded prior to the May 2024 budget, the third year of Labor’s term. Established in 2014, Girl Geek Academy is the leading social enterprise championing a brighter future for girls in STEM careers.

Moran warned that the current stop-start approach to STEM initiatives widens the pay and inequality gap between men and women, causing girls who could have made a powerful contribution to the future of STEM in Australia to be lost.

Girl Geek Academy is now calling on notable women leaders to support its petition and its database of supporters representing the grassroots of change.

The group plans to supply the Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic MP, Minister for Women and Minister for Finance, Katy Gallagher MP, and Treasurer Jim Chalmers with a letter of recommendations at the end of March. Moran stated that girls want a future in STEM, and the government must commit long-term to achievable change to support gender equality in the functioning of a healthy and viable economy.

The petition is available at fundwomennow.com 

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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