This International Women’s Day the Australian Space Agency calls for the space industry to #BalanceForBetter.

The Agency believes in leading by example. We embrace gender balance in our Agency and encourage a collective effort for balance to be accepted as the norm.

The space industry can be highly technical and complex with bold visions and ground-breaking initiatives. To foster innovation and creativity, we need a diverse workforce. This is why the Agency’s values include being inclusive. Valuing our differences and drawing strength from diversity is essential to our purpose. We aim to grow a globally respected Australian space industry that lifts the broader economy, inspires and improves the lives of all Australians.

The Agency is taking a ‘Panel Pledge’. This pledge commits us to participate in panels or forums that have achieved gender balance, or where organisers make every effort to achieve balance. We hope this is a clear signal that we are committed to improving gender diversity.

Underrepresentation by women is not exclusive to the space sector. There is greater momentum to tackle women leadership in STEM careers. We are pleased to see Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith, a respected astrophysicist, as the inaugural Women-in-STEM Ambassador.

The Agency has an ongoing responsibility to inspire the future workforce and secure higher involvement in STEM by both women and men. We will be looking at ways to showcase career pathways in space.

We encourage the space industry to highlight the impressive work of women who are leading at the front or from behind the scenes. By increasing the visibility of women in leadership roles we will encourage more women to take on, and stay in, STEM careers.

Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.