Minister for Women Congratulates STEM Scholarship Winners

Release Date: 
30 April 2016
Media release

The Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, in partnership with Chief Executive Women (CEW), today announced the winners of two scholarships for senior executive women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries.

Professor Julie Bernhardt, Head of the Stroke Division at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Ms Deanna Lomas, Director of Supply Chain at Telstra will receive the Australian Government funded scholarships to attend the prestigious leadership program at MIT Sloan next month.
Minister Cash said the Australian Government is proud to support women leaders in STEM.

“More than half of science PhD graduates and early career researchers are women, yet women are only 17% of senior academics in Australian universities and research institutes1.

“This is a huge loss on investment, impacting our nation’s scientific performance and economic productivity.”

President of CEW, Diane Smith-Gander, said: “An innovative and agile economy requires both men and women in senior executive positions, particularly within economy-building STEM industries.

This scholarship for women in STEM is not just important for individual women like Professor Bernhardt and Ms Lomas, but also for Australia’s future prosperity.”

Minister Cash highlighted the commitment the Australian Government has made to support more women to succeed in STEM, through the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“The Australian Government is working to create a 21st century economy built on the talents of our entire population.

This includes improving gender diversity in STEM, by supporting women at every stage of their careers—from when they are students to junior researchers to senior leaders.

Through our Women in STEM initiative, the Australian Government is providing $13 million over five years to increase the number of women studying STEM subjects and pursuing careers in STEM industries.

We all know that women have the qualifications, experience and passion to succeed in STEM. What is often missing is opportunity.”

The two STEM scholarships are part of the CEW Scholars program. For more information about the program, visit: www.cew.org.au/scholarships.

1 Higher Education Research Data Collection 2012, Department of Education; Office of the Chief Scientist, Australia.

For more information about the Australian Government’s Women in STEM initiative, visit: http://www.innovation.gov.au/factsheets/expanding-opportunities-women-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics.