Eastern Victoria

STEM Sisters

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

STEM Sisters
Ms SHING (Eastern Victoria) (20:38) — The matter that I wish to raise this evening is for the attention of the Minister for Education in the other place, Mr Merlino, and it relates to a recently held event in Gippsland, the STEM Sisters program, which is designed to encourage girls and women to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. We know that these programs do in fact work to provide incentives and to demystify a career that is often considered to be a very masculine pursuit, and that this is in fact incorrect and that women can and do make a wonderful and very positive contribution to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector industries and to the employment opportunities that exist within that.
To coincide with the work that has been undertaken as part of the STEM Sisters program and the work of the Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network, I would ask that the minister give active consideration to additional incentives and work that could complement programs such as the STEM Sisters program within the Gippsland area to encourage more girls and women to become acquainted with potential career opportunities, professional development opportunities and skills and training opportunities to enter the world of STEM, particularly as it relates to technology in the primary industries that have been identified for Gippsland, namely health care and aged care, as well as food and fibre technology and new energy technology.
We know that these are pathways which can and will create meaningful employment, and to make sure that women have the best possible opportunities to avail themselves of careers in these areas I would ask that the minister do all the work that can be done to complement the work of programs such as the STEM Sisters program. I congratulate them on continuing to bring these issues to the fore in a part of the world where we do want to encourage gender equity across the board and to give our young women as many opportunities as they might desire to pursue the careers of their choice.