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Beyond Stereotypes: Promoting Diversity and Equality in STEM

 

“Embracing a mindset that values transferable skills and diverse experiences can greatly contribute to breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion in emerging fields such as the Australian Space Industry.”
Lara Gebka, CEO Axia Recruitment and thought-leader STEM inclusion and diversity.

As we strive for equity and inclusion in STEM, it is crucial to adopt a more open-minded approach, not only as individuals but also as employers and industry leaders.

Embracing a mindset that values transferable skills and diverse experiences can greatly contribute to breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion in emerging fields such as the Australian Space Industry.

Initiatives aimed at attracting women into trades have shown positive results, and now it’s time to apply similar strategies to increase women’s representation in STEM fields. By building on the successes of trade-focused initiatives, we can create a more inclusive and diverse STEM community.

As we strive for equity and inclusion in STEM, it is crucial to adopt a more open-minded approach, not only as individuals but also as employers and industry leaders. Embracing a mindset that values transferable skills and diverse experiences can greatly contribute to breaking down barriers and promoting inclusion in emerging fields such as the Australian Space Industry.

Traditionally, STEM fields have been seen as siloed disciplines, with specific skill sets associated with each. However, by recognising the transferability of skills across industries, we can tap into a wider talent pool and provide opportunities for individuals from underrepresented groups to enter and contribute to new and exciting fields.

The Australian Space Industry, for instance, is rapidly growing and offers a range of career opportunities. By adopting a more inclusive approach to hiring and considering candidates with diverse backgrounds, employers can access a wealth of skills that may not have been traditionally associated with the space sector.

Skills such as project management, data analysis, problem-solving, and communication are highly transferable and can be valuable assets in this evolving industry.

Moreover, being open-minded about skill transferability can also lead to more diverse and multidisciplinary teams within the space industry. Bringing together individuals from different backgrounds, including those from non-STEM fields, can foster innovation, creativity, and unique perspectives that drive progress.

To encourage this open-mindedness, employers can:

  • Rethink Job Descriptions: Instead of focusing solely on specific technical requirements, job descriptions can be crafted to emphasise transferable skills and the potential for growth and learning within the organisation.
  • Prioritise Training and Upskilling: Providing training programs and opportunities for individuals with transferable skills to acquire industry-specific knowledge can bridge the gap and facilitate their entry into new STEM fields.
  • Foster Collaborative Partnerships: Collaborating with educational institutions, industry organisations, and government agencies can create pathways for individuals to transition into emerging industries like the Australian Space Industry. This includes internships, apprenticeships, and mentorship programs that support career transitions.

By embracing open-mindedness and recognising the potential of transferable skills, we can not only promote equity and inclusion in STEM but also foster a more dynamic and adaptable workforce that drives innovation across industries, including the exciting and growing field of space exploration in Australia.

Article by Lara Gebka.

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