Deborah Anton: An advocate for women in STEM

Deborah Anton: An advocate for women in STEM

Public Data National Data Commissioner
Friday, 16 August 2019

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

As part of National Science Week, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has been celebrating women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Women are consistently under-represented in STEM careers and in leadership positions in the same industries. One woman who is breaking the trend in both instances is Deborah Anton, Interim National Data Commissioner. Deb knows the importance of female participation in all walks of life and is particularly passionate about encouraging women into STEM education and careers.

“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are vital building blocks for Australia’s future prosperity and wellbeing. STEM skills are not just for scientists and engineers—everyone needs some foundations in technology, both to participate in an increasingly digital world and to participate in discussions that will shape our future as a country—from healthcare to energy use to climate change. Women’s involvement matters because we know diversity leads to better outcomes for society generally, and also for women.”

According to the Decadal plan for women in STEM, women represent about 16 percent of those involved in technology. One of the main reasons girls avoid embarking on a career in STEM is the perception that these industries are male dominated.

“Of course it isn’t just a perception– with women making up 16% of the STEM workforce how could you conclude anything else?”

Every good idea starts somewhere, maybe it will start with your daughters or nieces. “I wanted to be a scientist because it seemed to me to be the best pathway to make the world a better place. I think many young girls have the same drive.”

“Women absolutely have a role to play in creating and imagining a different future and better future for all. We all need to be part of that journey. What will your part of that journey be?”

More information is available on the National Data Commissioner’s website.