The Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis today congratulated the four recipients of the Andrews Labor Government’s new $150,000 Inspiring Women Fellowships that will provide support for Victorian’s leading female scientists trying to enter and re-enter the profession.

The first female Governor of Victoria, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AM,  presented the fellowships at Government House today, which are funded by the Victorian Government and delivered by veski through the Office of the Lead Scientist of Victoria, Dr Leonie Walsh.

Minister Dalidakis said the Labor Government was committed to addressing the barriers that women face across all industries and that the Inspiring Women Fellowships program was a right step forward to help put women in science on an equal footing with their male colleagues.

The fellowships will operate over three to five years and are designed to support women in the early and middle stages of their careers to remain in their profession while managing other responsibilities.

The four high-calibre researchers receiving the 2015 Inspiring Women Fellowships are Dr Emily Nicholson from Deakin University’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences; Dr Maria Liaskos from The Hudson Institute of Medical Research’s Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases; Dr Catherine Satzke from the Murdoch Children’s Research; and Dr Natalie Hannan from The University of Melbourne’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The fellowships are part of the Victorian Government’s Women in Science program designed to address the under-representation of women at the senior levels of scientific leadership.

“Congratulations to these inspiring recipients who are all pursuing promising careers in science while skilfully balancing the demands of motherhood. Through the fellowships and the Women In Science program, the Labor Government is committed to supporting Victorian businesses operating in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to increase the number of women across the industry.”

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis

“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to ensuring women have the same rights and opportunities within their chosen profession. That means addressing gender imbalances in science, particularly in senior and leadership roles.”

Minister for Women, Fiona Richardson

“To affect the cultural change we need within our institutions, businesses, government and community organisations to support more inspiring women.  As well as directly supporting the four recipients of the inaugural inspiring women fellowships, this program will stimulate wider conversations among our state’s institutions and encourage more organisations to take real action in supporting this pool of talented inspiring women.”

Lead Scientist of Victoria, Dr Leonie Walsh