In July 2020 we launched our brand-new STEM Returners branch in Australia!

Headed up by Marcail Roe, a two time return to work mum herself, Marcail knows the barriers and challenges faced by women re-entering the workplace. With major government investment in the Defence sector in Australia planned over the coming decades, thousands of new jobs will be created. This is the perfect time to readdress the balance and increase diversity in this new workforce.

We want employers to view CV gaps in a different way. Operating within an incredibly skills short market, the scheme allows employers to attract candidates from a new talent pool, and give candidates a supported route back to their career.

By facilitating paid short-term placements for professionals returning to work after a career break, we can begin to utilise the untapped talent in the engineering sector. The project provides support for candidates in advice, career coaching, networking opportunities and mentoring. All of the candidates going through the program will also have the opportunity to restart their career in a permanent position at the end of the program.

BAE Systems is the first Australian company to engage with STEM Returners to provide new opportunities for skilled professionals in its national defence and security business.

STEM Returners has also partnered with Engineers Australia who will provide professional mentors and memberships to the successful Returners in their programs, this is an important part of providing support to our Returners as they re-start their careers.

STEM Returners revealed on International Women in Engineering Day that 61% of STEM professionals on a career break are finding the process of attempting to return to work either difficult or very difficult, with women “bearing the brunt” of the challenge.

The program for diversity’s annual survey found 27% of women feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their gender compared to eight per cent of men.

The poll also found 30% of women feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to childcare responsibilities, compared to six per cent of men.

STEM Returners’ questionnaire asked 750 STEM professionals on a career break, who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work, a range of questions to understand their experience of trying to re-enter the workplace.

Marcail Roe, Director of STEM Returners Australia said “I’m excited to be launching this program in partnership with BAE Systems, a forward-thinking organisation trailblazing this initiative in Australia. The investment in Defence programs by the Australian Government is the perfect platform to readdress the balance in STEM.

Creating opportunities for Returners in STEM but also to influence the DE&I agenda. Too many conversations are focused around one area of diversity but to make a genuine positive change we want STEM to be open and accessible to everyone.”