Briefing paper

This rapid research information brief responds to the question - what impact is the COVID-19 pandemic having on women in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workforce?

Key findings:

  • Early evidence on the impact of the epidemic suggests women face disproportionate increases in caring responsibilities and disruptions to working hours, job security and paid work capacity. This is most acute for those with children under 12.
  • Women from diverse backgrounds face additional barriers to entry, retention and progression in the STEM workforce. Anticipated COVID-related funding cuts to equity programs would set back gains in STEM workforce diversity.
  • Job insecurity is emerging as an even more troubling issue for women in STEM than for men. High proportions of women employed in short-term contract and casual jobs are likely to be threatened by cuts to research and teaching jobs
Publication Details