Girls in STEM: First we need to tackle the skills gap, then we need to tackle the pay gap

24 November 2016

In recent years girls’ involvement in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects and careers has been a focus for educational institutions after governments around the world identified an impending skills shortage and widening gender gap.

Fantastic programs have been developed and research continues to be conducted into how to attract more girls into these fields, with girls schools showing excellent results in engaging students in science and maths. These efforts are slowly changing the landscape of female STEM career interest and tertiary study choices, however, serious work is needed to address the current gender inequities for those women already in STEM-related jobs.

The statistics are worrying, with data from Professional Scientists Australia in conjunction with Science & Technology Australia (STA), revealing that female scientists earn on average $21,000 less per annum than their male counterparts.That pay gap increases when salary packages are taken into account, with men receiving on average $135,900 compared to only $112,400 for women.

Read what STA Chief Executive Kylie Walker had to say about the situation in The Australian.