Work With Purpose

Monday May 10, 2021

Women Leaders in STEM

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the APS has relied on the minds of scientists and others working in the STEM profession like never before. The evidence-based research and advice they provide to some of Australia’s most senior politicians is informing decisions and policy critical to Australia’s ongoing safety and wellbeing.

A field that in the past has been predominately filled by men, more women are rising to the top of the STEM profession. What choices and career moves did they make to achieve these leadership roles? What is their vision for the profession?

In this episode, 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. Discussed in this episode:

  • The increasingly important role STEM plays in government.
  • How scientists are working with government during the pandemic.
  • Obstacles women face when rising to the top in their careers.
  • Why a diverse workplace is key to the success of the APS.

Produced in partnership between

Supported by


  • Professor Tanya Monro image
    Professor Tanya Monro

    Chief Defence Scientist at the Department of Defence

  • Dr Cayt Rowe image
    Dr Cayt Rowe

    Deputy Program Leader at the Department of Defence

  • Dr Cathy Foley image
    Dr Cathy Foley

    Australian Chief Scientist

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