About 2.3 million working Australians have qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) – but fewer than one in five of them are female. It’s something the University of South Australia is determined to change.

Women make up 47 per cent of STEM teaching staff at the University of South Australia, so at face value, UniSA appears to be doing well in gender equity.

But it’s not the full picture. At UniSA – as with others across the country – women are less well-represented at senior levels. Eighty per cent of senior professors in STEM at Australian universities are men.

Working hard to address that gap, UniSA has joined an Australian pilot program to improve the promotion and retention of women in STEM. 

The Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program is a partnership between the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) and is the first Australian trial modelled on the highly successful UK Athena Swan gender equity accreditation program.

The program rates gender equity policies and helps to develop ways to promote and retain women and gender minorities.

In this feature story, we profile a handful of UniSA’s outstanding female staff and graduates who through their work are really pushing the boundaries and in doing so, delivering significant benefits for society.

Meet the female game changers in STEM.