The events of 2020 are about-face the way we live, work, teach, and learn. And while we have all been afflicted differently, the impact of the COVID-19 communicable on women has been decidedly significant.

A recent report by the Rapid Research Information Forum found the communicable has left women facing asymmetric increases in caring responsibilities and disruptions to alive hours and job security.

The hard-won gains made by women in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) are at risk, abnormally if administration of people with STEM skills do not carefully adviser and abate the gender impact of their decisions.

The pre-pandemic impact of caring for accouchement and the uptake of adjustable alive arrange are just two of the issues advised in the second copy of the STEM Workforce Report, appear this week by the Office of the Chief Scientist. Drawing on the 2016 Australian Census data, this report provides a absolute assay of the STEM workforce in Australia.

It analyses the nearly 1.2 actor people with abstruse STEM abilities and the almost 700,000 people with university STEM abilities in the Australian labor force in 2016. As such, it will enable abreast controlling to help plan our future STEM workforce needs.

The slow pace of change

Our assay found that people with STEM abilities work in a wide range of occupations and industries. On average, they earn more than those with non-STEM qualifications, and these incomes access with accomplishment level. In 2016, 34% of active STEM university graduates earned A$104,000 or above, compared with 24% of non-STEM university graduates. Of STEM university graduates, 32% of those with a bachelor’s degree, 34% of those with a master, and 45% of those with a doctoral degree earned A$104,000 or above.

However, the pace of change appear a fairer and more assorted STEM labor force is still slow. In 2006, 27% of STEM university graduates in the labor force were women. A decade later, this had only risen to 29%.

Just 3.3% of Australian-born women with a university STEM accomplishment were unemployed, as of census night in 2016. But the agnate figure for analogously able overseas-born women who accustomed in Australia amid 2006 and 2016 was 14.1%.

Women in STEM also have lower boilerplate pay than analogously able men, in both part-time and full-time roles. For full-time workers with university STEM qualifications, 45% of men earned A$104,000 or above, compared with 26% of women.