Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador Initiative

Explore the evidence-informed initiatives developed by Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador to address inequities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith

The Women in STEM Ambassador was an Australian Government initiative, based at UNSW Sydney, that worked with Australia's business leaders, educators, and policymakers to remove structural barriers to participation in STEM.

The Women in STEM Ambassador’s team employed a collaborative and evidence-based approach to identify effective strategies for mitigating STEM inequities. They conducted research, crafted policy advice, created workplace equity and evaluation tools and created Future You - a national digital awareness-raising initiative about STEM careers tailored for children, parents and caregivers.

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith was appointed as Australia’s first Women in STEM Ambassador in October 2018. She was appointed a further 3 times - remaining in the role until the initiative ended on May 31st 2024.

Impact at a glance

The Ambassador’s efforts contributed to significant positive improvements for women and girls in STEM.  

Data from the 2023 STEM Equity Monitor revealed that from 2018-22, there was a 38% increase in the number of women in STEM-qualified occupations, compared to a 10% increase for men.  

More women chose to study STEM throughout this period. From 2018 to 2021, the number of women enrolled in university STEM courses increased from 77,673 to 92,162. This was a 18% increase, compared to a 9% increase for men. 

Between 2018 and 2024 the Ambassador and her team reached a potential audience of 107.8 million people through 2,915 media appearances. They directly engaged with 178,727 people through 729 hours of engagement, providing expert advice to educators and inspiring more than 100,000 primary and secondary school students and their teachers through school visits and conferences.

Reviews and reports

Browse annual reviews, evaluation reports and recordings.

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Women in STEM Ambassador: Insights and Impacts, was a virtual event held on 10 May 2024 to celebrate the impact and contributions of the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador initiative towards advancing gender equity and diversity in STEM fields. 

Explore more videos from the Ambassador and her team

The team

The team evolved throughout the initiative and relied upon a diversity of expertise. 

  • Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador, 2018 – 2024
  • Associate Professor Lisa Williams, Chief Investigator, 2021- 2024
  • Jaqui Pyke, Senior Administrative Officer and Operations Manager, 2021 – 2024
  • Dr. Lucy Buxton, Operations Manager, 2023 – 2024
  • Dr. Sarah Ratcliffe, Research Associate, 2023 – 2024
  • Dr. Jesse Bergman, Research Associate, 2023 – 2024
  • Becky Laurence, Digital Content and Engagement Officer and Program Coordinator for Future You, 2022 – 2024
  • Dr. Isabelle Kingsley, Senior Research Associate, 2019 -2023
  • Hilary Schubert-Jones, Program Manager, 2023 – 2023 
  • Dan Prichard, Program Coordinator, 2021 – 2023
  • Vanessa Gardos, Program Manager, 2021 - 2021
  • Clara Gomes, Digital Content and Research Officer, 2020 – 2022
  • Siobhan Campbell, Program Manager, 2019 -2021
  • Susie Shaw, Project Administrator, 2020-2021
  • Professor Emma Johnston AO FAA FTSE, Chief Investigator, 2018 – 2020
  • Lauren Sullivan, Project Officer and Program Coordinator, 2019 – 2021
  • Rachel Misitano, Campaign Manager, 2019 – 2020
  • Natalie Ji Hye Choi, Brand and Communications Specialist, 2019 – 2020
  • Morgan Sutton, Strategy Manager, 2018 - 2020

STEM resources

STEM Story Time

STEM Story Time is an exciting interactive space adventure for early learners that can be used in the classroom or at home. Children aged 3-6 join an astronaut on a journey to the International Space Station, learning about space and problem solving along the way.

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Astrophysics On Demand

Watch Astrophysics On Demand with Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith and learn all about our wonderful world and beyond.

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Contact us 

For further information, contact the Office of the Women in STEM Ambassador. 


The Women in STEM Ambassador was an Australian Government Initiative from 2018 to May 2024, delivered through a grant with UNSW Sydney.