Navigating STEM Careers for Women : A Career Toolkit

The percentage of women working across STEM qualified industries according to the STEM Equity Monitor Report (2021), has continued to increase from 24% in 2016 to 28% in 2020. However, University qualified females born overseas face four times higher unemployment rates than women born in Australia? Statistics from the Office of the Chief Scientist, Australia’s STEM Workforce Report (2020) shows that 57% of doctoral graduates in Australia were born overseas? 

These reasons and many more are why iSTEM Consulting exists. iSTEM is a research, consulting and recruitment firm whose core objective is to enable employment of women of colour as well as women from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) into STEM organisations beginning with Australia.

Hence, iSTEM has designed this career toolkit to help women of colour and women from CALD navigate easily into STEM workforce in Australia.

STEM careers

The underlisted are various STEM careers in Australia .

1 Environmental Scientist Aerospace Engineering Project Manager Acturists
2 Pharmacists Biomedical Engineering ICT Business Analyst Mathematics
3 Medical Laboratory Scientist Chemical Engineering Web & Mobile App Dev Statistician
4 Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals Civil/Structural Engineering Data Scientist Economists
5 Veterinarians Environmental Engineering Data Analyst Market Research Analyst
6 Life Scientists Elecrical Power Engineering DevOps Engineer Financial Analyst
7 Agricultural and Forestry Scientists Electronics Engineering Products Designers Space Scientist
8 Chemist, Food and Wine Scientists Mechanical Engineering Cloud Engineers Physicists/ Astrophysicists
9 Medical and Biomedical Scientists Renewable/Sustainable Engineering ICT System Architects Cryptographers
10 Geologists, Geophysicists and Hydrogeologists Robotics/computer Engineering Telecommunication Engineers Neuropsychologists

Questions we ask ourselves

Where am I in my career and how far do I want to go?

What do I need to do to get to where I want to be?

Why am I not employed in my chosen career?

Why didn’t I get the job after my interview?

What am I doing wrong?

Is my skill equivalent to the job?

Is being a woman of colour affecting my chances of being employed?

Is having a family affecting my career aspirations?

How far am I willing to travel for the job?

STEM Interview

Before embarking on the interview for your job, you need to do the following


Carry out research on the company you are being interviewed with


Identify the skills you are good at and leverage on it


Know the distance it will take you to get to the place of interview if physical so you can arrive early

System Connection

If interview is virtual, prepare your computer and check network and settings ahead of time.


Be punctual, arrive 10minutes early for better preparedness.

Interview and likely questions

How many hours a week do I want to work?

What skills can I leverage on?

How far do I want to travel for work?

Can I work independently?

Social media visibility

The essence of being in a social media is vital. We need to ask ourselves some certain question:

Are you in professional social media (Linkedin, etc)?

What is the essence of your being in social media?

Are you visible on social media?

How often is post on social media and what is the content of your post?

Who are your followers and who are you following?

Professional Association and Networking Groups

You have to take advantage of the various associations and networking groups available in your career and network accordingly. Hence:

Are you in a professional association and networking group?

Are you utilising your association and networking groups?

Continuous career upgrade

How intentional are you in upgrading yourself 

Leadership and communication skills

Are you a critical thinker? 

How well do you collaborate with others in discharging a given task? 

Are you a team player? 

How creative are you? 

Can you work without supervision?

Can you convey an idea to your team and organization?

How confident are you in your skills?

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