Designed to encourage girls to study and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), an innovative suite of resources called the Girls in STEM Toolkit has been developed by Education Services Australia (ESA).
Funded by the Australian Government, the Girls in STEM Toolkit (The GiST) is a new website that features information, resources, activities and a career quiz to build girls’ confidence in STEM. There are also real-life case studies, interviews with professionals, networking and school and community events.
The initiative is part of ongoing efforts by the Australian Government to address gender bias and stereotyping in Science and Maths, which begins as early as the early years of primary school through to tertiary studies and beyond.
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science engaged ESA to develop and deliver the toolkit, which will help school-aged girls understand the diverse range of STEM careers available to them.
Andrew Smith, CEO of Education Services Australia, explained the importance of this new initiative. “We are so pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to help address the critical issue of under-representation of girls in STEM at school, university and the workplace,” he said.
According to a recently published report, Women in STEM Decadel Plan, over 80 per cent of employees agree that STEM qualifications are valuable to their workplace, but women make up just 16 per cent of the STEM skilled workforce.
Australia’s first Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, is a strong advocate of the new website. “I’m delighted to see the Girls in STEM Toolkit go live, a website full of resources for female students to explore the A-Z of STEM subjects and careers. I hope this website will enable girls to think broadly about the diverse career options in STEM and provide visible role models in the workforce,” she said.
The GiST also offers resources to help teachers and school leaders inspire girls to feel confident and enthusiastic about STEM, including lesson plans and information about creating gender-inclusive learning environments, mitigating bias and encouraging whole-school STEM engagement.
To view the GiST website, please click here.