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International Women’s Day 2023

International Women’s Day 2023

International Women’s Day recognises the achievements of women around the world and asks us to imagine a gender equal world. At the Australian Research Council (ARC), it’s a day to reflect on the achievements of our women researchers and the importance of continuing to drive equality, diversity, and inclusion in the research workforce.

One of the ARC’s standout researchers is Professor Michelle Simmons AO, who as Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology helped position Australia as a world leader in quantum research. Professor Simmons pioneered unique technologies internationally to build electronic devices in silicon at the atomic scale, including the world's smallest transistor, the narrowest conducting wires, 3D atomic electronics and the first two qubit gate using atom-based qubits in silicon.

Professor Simmons was chosen as Australian of the Year in 2018 – a pre-eminent accolade acknowledged with pride by the ARC.

Pleasingly, female success rates in our grant applications have aligned closely with – and in 2019 and 2021, exceeded – male success rates over the last 8 years. However, there remains a marked disparity between the number of men and women in research. In 2022, there were more than twice as many male investigators (70%) as female investigators (30%) in research applications. While gender parity in applicant numbers is still an aspiration, there is no denying the talents of our female researchers.

The ARC has introduced and participated in a range of initiatives to support women researchers and promote gender equality under the National Competitive Grants Program.

We will continue to drive gender equity in the research sector.

Happy International Women’s Day.

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