Programs & awards

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is committed to greater action around diversity and inclusion.

In promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM, our first priority will be to address the imbalance in gender in STEM. The Academy’s future diversity priorities include age, indigenous Australians and ethnicity in STEM.

We updated our Diversity and Inclusion Policy in 2020, and set out our commitments for which we will be accountable.

Our approach and commitments

  • The Board and the broader Academy leadership are responsible for leading actions in the Academy.
  • Women should constitute 50 per cent of all new Fellows elected to the Academy by 2025. We will set targets to achieve this. Inclusion of women across our governance and leadership structures will also reflect the gender targets for new Fellows
  • We will provide broader perspectives through policies on age, ethnicity and Indigenous reconciliation.
  • Academy awards, meetings and events will reflect gender diversity and promote inclusion.
  • We will support programs that promote diversity and inclusion across schools, university and industry.
  • We will promote the achievement of women in STEM.
  • We are an equal opportunity employer providing a flexible and respectful workplace.
  • We will not take part in national or international activities where the organising body has no gender equity policy or where women are not reasonably and meaningfully represented among speakers.

Our commitment will be measured by the outcomes.

Why this matters

Technology, engineering and science professions have a serious problem with gender balance and workplace culture.

Australian women obtained more than 60 per cent of undergraduate degrees in 2013. However, fewer than 10 per cent of those employed in this country as engineers are women.

Worldwide, women accounted for less than a third of those employed in scientific R&D in 2014. In Australia, the science and technology picture for women is no better.

The exclusion or marginalisation of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) damages the careers or even the lives of the women involved. It also results in an avoidable loss of expertise, talent and investment.

The Academy is taking part in two programs that aim to change this.


Women in STEM Decadal Plan

Australia’s future workforce will need skills and knowledge to equip them for the technology-driven careers that are emerging or yet to be developed. To ensure Australia remains innovative and globally competitive, we need to continue to support and develop our STEM capabilities.

That’s why the Australian Government asked the Academy and the Australian Academy of Science to develop a Women in STEM Decadal Plan – to provide a 10-year roadmap for achieving sustained increases in women’s STEM participation.

The plan identified the barriers and enablers that affect women’s participation, retention and success in all areas of the STEM sector, at every level of education, to all levels and stages of careers in academia, government, industry and private enterprise.

It was launched in Canberra on 1 April 2019 by Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

Find out more about the Women in STEM Decadal Plan

Science in Australia Gender Equity

Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) is a partnership between the Academy and the Australian Academy of Science.

This national initiative aims to improve participation, retention and success of women, gender minorities and diverse groups working in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) in the higher education and research sector in Australia.

Building on the success of the Athena SWAN Charter from the UK, SAGE is adapting the Charter’s accreditation framework for Australia – the resulting model will be sustainable and adaptable and able to identify and address gender inequality in this key sector.

Find out more about Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE)

Listen to our podcasts on diversity and inclusion