The female brain drain – we’re losing our best minds

Media releases, WiSE

Summit: Monday 11 April 10.30am to 4 pm Mural Hall, Parliament House Canberra, Media welcome

What are CSIRO, ANSTO, the ARC, the NHMRC, Cochlear, CSL…going to do about it?

We’re losing our top young scientists – but not to better pay overseas – they’re dropping out of science and engineering in their 30s. It’s a cultural and economic loss to the country affecting every field from medicine to climate research to astronomy.

For the physical sciences things are much worse. Industry is crying out for chemists, physicists and engineers to support the mining boom, building and science infrastructure such as the Synchrotron, the ANSTO reactor, and the proposed giant telescope (The Square Kilometre Array). But girls aren’t doing the right subjects at school and university to get these high paying jobs.

And it’s a continuing gender equity issue in this year, the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

The leaders of Australia’s science and engineering community are meeting at Parliament House on Monday 11 April to develop practical solutions.

Leaders from CSIRO, ANSTO, IBM, Cochlear, the ARC, the NHMRC, the Bureau of Meteorology and 30 other organisations will be guided by winners of the Prime Ministers Science Prizes and other top scientists and engineers and by the Hon Kate Ellis, Minister for the Status of Women.

Delegates will also be briefed on Equality means business: the Women’s Empowerment Principles endorsed by the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 55) in New York (22 February – 4 March 2011)

The Summit is organised by UN Women Australia, the UNESCO National Commission and FASTS, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies.

The Summit runs from 10.30 am until 4 pm in the Mural Hall, Parliament House, Canberra. All sessions are open to the media except the leaders’ roundtable from 2 to 3.15 pm.

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