Supporting female participation and leadership in a zero-carbon future

Woman serving coffees

Bold climate action and low carbon recovery measures will create thousands of jobs and a sustained boom in prosperity. Still, there is a need to ensure all members of our community benefit.

Women have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in multiple ways. Women lost more jobs than men during the pandemic and, are being overrepresented in casual and part-time positions, saw higher rates of job losses and reduced hours than men.

Stimulus packages tend to focus on male-dominated industries like construction, infrastructure, and clean energy. Women are also underrepresented in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, all core areas set to boom in a decarbonising economy.

Clean State strongly advocates for everyone to benefit equally from stimulus and recovery packages, and for women and girls are supported and included in the jobs and prosperity boom implicit in the transition to
a decarbonised economy. 

Women are underrepresented in STEM

Jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are growing 1.5 times faster than any other industry169, but women and girls are vastly underrepresented and underpaid in STEM education and careers.

Encouraging and supporting women and girls to enter STEM fields would create a seismic shift in our economic structure and technology frontiers. At current rates of participation, the STEM field will not reach gender parity in key manager positions until the end of the century.

With STEM and low carbon industries set to be the next boom, its crucial women have the same opportunity to share the benefits. 

What would it cost?

The transition described would save approximately 200,000 tonnes of carbon per year.

This package would cost $10m per year including:

  • Renewing and repowering 1883 childcare, aged care & disability care facilities.
  • Introducing an Early Age School STEM program.
  • Providing funding for free creche and childcare at all tertiary education, government agencies and all large businesses by 2022.
  • Supporting 100 Female STEM Start-ups by 2030.

Case Study: Code Like a Girl

Code Like A Girl is an Australian social enterprise organising providing girls with the tools, knowledge, and support to enter and flourish in the world of coding by delivering tech-focussed events held across Australia. The team run a junior school holiday code camp for girls aged 8-15, as well as workshops for adults who have an interest in coding.  Most recently they launched an internship program and also run a job-sharing service to connect their community of female coders with jobs and employers that are committed to equality in their workplace.  Code Like A Girl focuses on making tech accessible, inclusive, open and, fun.

Co-founders Ally Watson and Vanessa Doake had experienced first-hand the “isolation associated with being a female developer and decided to host a meetup to bring female coders together to learn, encourage each other and celebrate their achievements”, and are passionate about social justice and “empowering girls and women to be whatever they want and achieve more than what our society tells us we can.” More than 100 people RSVP’d to their first event in 2015.