The Gender Hap in STEM (March 2019)

Next month, Civita organises a Hackt — a data-centric hackathon of generosity — about the gender gap in the STEM industry. In one afternoon, groups of passionate and skilled individuals will gather and try to tackle one small part of this widespread social issue.

Why do we care about the gender gap in STEM?

First of all, because we believe in equal opportunities for everyone, no matter what their background or social group is. March is the month dedicated to International Women’s Rights and, while there is a lot of work to do in multiple areas, we wanted to focus on a subject that we know, impacts every generation and where there is still progress to make.

Why is it still a thing?

Gender equality has generally improved a lot in the past century. Nowadays, in Australia, women and men have theoretically the same rights and opportunities. Despite the legal and social enforcement, women are still underrepresented in most technical fields — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. More precisely, they represent on average only 16% of the workforce in STEM and the rate decreases with age. This imbalance is explained by different factors such as stereotypes and gender roles, peer pressure or lack of female role models in the industry. This gap starts early: a report from the Australian Human Rights Commission highlights the significance of gender segregation in school and how this could be changed with the family and friends influences and more models in the STEM fields.

Why is it important?

Understanding and solving the gender gap in STEM goes beyond offering the same opportunities to every individual. It is about giving all the keys of our most crucial industries to half of the population. Understanding this issue could also maximising the population productivity and boost the economy as a whole: narrowing the gender gap in Australia could potentially boost GDP by 11%.

On an organisational level, decreasing this gap is necessary. Australia ranks fourth in the world in talent shortages. In comparison with less inclusive organisations, well gender-balanced companies have shown a higher customer satisfaction, a great productivity and a higher profitability.

Everyone is welcome!

We welcome any gender! We need as many women then men to see the problems from all the possible angles and start solving this.

What do we plan to do?

On the 23th of March, we plan to give you three hours to solve the challenge of an organisation or a community. These organisations’ core vision is to decrease the gender gap in STEM and your solution will help them progress and gain different perspective.

You know an organisation in this space who could suggest a challenge? Contact us at

Ethel Karskens