En-gendering a path to sustainability

    31 March 2022

    The United Nations has identified gender equality and science as vital to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in time. But an under-representation of women in the field could be holding us back from reaching global targets.

    A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. In Australia around a third of STEM students or employees in agriculture and environmental science are female.

    But it’s not just about giving women jobs. The way we respond to the impacts of climate change and population growth, comes down to putting the right people in the right jobs.

    We know that science and technology will be a core driver of Australia’s response to productivity and sustainability challenges in agriculture. New ways of thinking will pave the way to innovative solutions and broader perspectives amongst policy makers.

    In this context, gender equality and equal opportunities to participate in science and agriculture generates new ideas for better resource management and food security in Australia and globally.

    By acknowledging the contributions of women in this country, from science and research, manufacturing to policy and on-farm, we set an example for future female leaders and diversity in the space.

    New generations of scientists, farmers and environmentalists will shape the way agriculture intersects with not only climate change but also social rights and equality to realise the benefits for humanity.


    “To me, policy provided a mechanism to implement positive change, evidence informed policy was not so universal, and I wanted to change that.”
    – Dr Jana Phan, Director – Stewardship and Sustainability Policy, CropLife Australia

    “At just six years old my grandfather’s stories about life on a small French farm prompted me to decide that one day, I would help farmers grow better crops.”
    – Dr Anne-Sophie Dielen, Director – Crop Biotechnology Policy, CropLife Australia


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