EP#38: Women in Leadership: STEM edition

In 2020, a year of uncertainty and risk, the Australian public saw the APS rely on the minds of scientists, and others that work within STEM, like they never have before. A field that in the past has been predominately filled by men, is starting to see some powerful and influential women rise to the top. How did they make it? What choices and career moves did these women make to assist in rising to roles of leadership and how do they advise some of Australia’s most senior politicians on how evidence-based research can help inform decisions and policy?

In this episode of Work with Purpose, we are joined Dr. Cathy Foley AO PSM, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Cayt Rowe, Deputy Program Leader at the Department of Defence, and Professor Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist at the Department of Defence.

Foley, Rowe and Monro start off this episode discussing how they worked their way to a leadership role in STEM. What career moves do you have to make? What can you learn about yourself from being in a role of leadership?

The trio also explain how they use their roles to ensure that government officials are taking into account the views of scientists. How do you grab their attention? How has this role changed since the beginning of COVID-19?

The episode finishes with the ladies sharing their views on women in leadership. What challenges do women face in their careers? How do we make the APS more equal for both men and women?

Discussed in this episode:

  • The growing role that STEM is playing in government.
  • How scientists are working with and informing government during the pandemic.
  • The obstacles that women face when rising to the top in their careers.
  • Why a diverse workplace is key to the success of the APS.