Gender parity in Aussie STEM by 2091 is ridiculous but not unrealistic
A report from Australia's chief scientist in 2016 highlighted a disparity between female and male science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-qualified Aussies.
It found that fewer than one-third of STEM university graduates were female, with physics and astronomy, as well as engineering, having even lower proportions of female graduates.
Facing Senate Estimates last week, Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel was questioned on the country's progress. He said there was still a long way to go before the country would reach parity.
"It's influenced enormously by home and parents. The decision for a young woman is influenced enormously by peer pressure, teachers, and role models, and there is a lot of effort … to try to redress it, but it takes time," he said.
"There has been progress, but the rate of progress is very, very small."
He said the STEM workforce graduate figure for females was around 29% in 2016 and 27% five years earlier.