Decadal Plan Champion

In recognition of UNSW’s commitment to supporting women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics  (STEM), the Australian Academy of Science has named UNSW as one of its Decadal Plan Champions.


 The Australian Academy of Science’s Women in STEM Decadal Plan provides a vision for Australia’s STEM workforce for 2030 and a framework for organisations across multiple sectors to move towards these goals.

'A workforce delivering science, technology and innovation and the national advances they bring must make use of all available talent. Yet women and girls face a myriad of systemic barriers and cultures which result in ther under-representation across the breadth and depth of STEM disciplines and careers. Under-representation and underutilisation of the workforce are threats to Australia’s prosperity'. – Decadal Plan Page 10


As a Decadal Plan Champion, UNSW has agreed to publicly align our gender equity journey with the decadal plan. The champions process builds on the efforts already underway across many organisations including UNSW, providing a platform to share knowledge, act, evaluate and create accountability.

The six opportunities

The Decadal Plan Framework outlines six opportunities to progress gender equity in STEM disciplines in participating organisations. Here, UNSW showcases several current initiatives driven by our Athena SWAN Bronze Award Action Plan. For a full list, please refer to our Women in STEM Decadal Plan Champion application.

1 Leadership and Cohesion

Stronger cohesion and leadership across the Australian STEM ecosystem will amplify and strengthen diversity outcomes

2 Evaluation

Establishing a national evaluation framework will guide decision making and drive investment and effort into measures that work.

3 Workplace Culture

A significant cultural shift in workplaces is necessary to create gender equity for women in STEM. A culture that is inclusive and respectful, challenges traditional stereotypes, is free of discrimination and bias, enables flexibility and accommodates career interruptions and changes will maximise women’s participation in the workforce.

4 Visibility

Seeing women in diverse STEM careers, and equally represented in the media, in public events, and in other forums like boardrooms and classrooms will provide role models for girls and women and inspire a nation.

5 Education

Strengthening the education system to support teaching and learning on a national scale will enable and encourage all girls and women at all levels to study STEM courses and equip them with the skills and knowledge to participate in diverse STEM careers.

As an higher education institution, education is at the heart of what we do, and educating women and girls in STEMM is a core part of UNSW Sydney’s mission. We have many faculty-led initiatives to encourage more girls and women to study STEMM. Here are just some of the examples.

6 Industry Action

Establishing a national framework that guides and provides tools to address gender equity amongst SMEs will impact the vast majority of businesses not reached by existing programs.

Further reading