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Young Australians lack confidence in STEM skills

14 June 2019

More than half (51%) of Australia’s Generation Z1 don’t think they are capable of a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM), with young females less confident about a career in STEM (48%) compared to their male peers (54%), according to the Westpac STEM Careers and Perceptions Report2.
 

The report was launched to coincide with Westpac’s partnership with Vogue Australia to present Vogue Codes, a series of events designed to inspire and empower women to pursue careers in the traditionally male-dominated tech industry.
 

The research highlights a lack of STEM confidence among many Australians, revealing 64% of Gen Z workers feel they don’t have the skills required for their future career, with an astounding three in four Australian workers believing they need to upskill in STEM to future proof their job1.
 

Anastasia Cammaroto, Chief Information Officer for Westpac Consumer Division, is passionate about demystifying STEM and arming the next generation with the confidence to consider a career in STEM.
 

“I think there is a narrow perception that a career in STEM is always highly technical, but in actual fact STEM skills open up a broad range of career opportunities, including working with technology, finance, food, fashion and travel. We know STEM skills are rapidly becoming more important in the future of the workforce, but I see a disconnect with the desire to embrace these skills, especially among young women,” she said.
 

This year is the fourth year Westpac has partnered with Vogue Australia to present Vogue Codes to showcase a wide range of inspirational women influencing fields across STEM both in Australia and globally.
 

“Understanding the importance of these industries is the key to encouraging young Australians, especially women, about the amazing opportunities on offer. And it all starts with education and breaking down the confusion or uncertainty around STEM from an early age,” continued Ms Cammaroto.
 

Last year Westpac launched All SySTEMs Go!, an education program designed to encourage female high school students to gain valuable STEM skills. Commenting on the program, Ms Cammaroto said, “So far we’ve provided 100 girls the opportunity to upskill in STEM. It takes guts to put your hand up for a program that you may feel underqualified for and I’m incredibly impressed by the talent I’ve seen take part so far. It really motivates me to continue to encourage more of the next generation to see all the possibilities STEM has to offer.”
 

Last year Westpac launched All SySTEMs Go!, an education program designed to encourage female high school students to gain valuable STEM skills. Commenting on the program, Ms Cammaroto said, “So far we’ve provided 100 girls the opportunity to upskill in STEM. It takes guts to put your hand up for a program that you may feel underqualified for and I’m incredibly impressed by the talent I’ve seen take part so far. It really motivates me to continue to encourage more of the next generation to see all the possibilities STEM has to offer.”
 

“Our research really highlights the lack of awareness and education about STEM careers with 77% of young Australians not knowing exactly what STEM is. Having started my career in engineering, and now leading a tech team, I know first-hand how incredibly rewarding and interesting a career in STEM is. I strongly agree with the majority of STEM workers surveyed who said they feel confident (42%), challenged (41%) and happy (40%) in their career path,” concluded Ms Cammaroto.
 

To find out more information on Westpac’s STEM commitment and initiatives, click here.
 

For further information, please contact:

Chloe Turner, Map and Page

E. chloe.turner@mapandpage.com.au

P. 0416 273 482

 

Georgina Adcock, Map and Page

E. georgina.adcock@mapandpage.com.au

P. 0411 331 552

 

1 16-24 year olds
2 Westpac STEM Careers and Perceptions Report, June 2019 - nationwide survey of 1,357 Australians aged 16+ (513 of which currently work in a STEM related roles and 353 aged 16-24).