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Leadership & Management

Johnson & Johnson announces two Australian winners in the global Women in STEM2D Awards

Health Industry Hub | July 21, 2021 |
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Leadership & Management: The Johnson & Johnson Scholars’ Award Program aims to fuel development of female STEM2D leaders and feed the STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring women at critical points in their careers, in each of the STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design.

The 2021 winners, including two Australians, have just been announced. Garnering more than 650 applications from 40 countries, 6 women, one for each STEM2D category have been awarded $US150,000 each in funding and three years of mentorship from Johnson & Johnson.

The awards fund one woman per STEM2D discipline who has completed her advanced degree, who is working as an assistant professor (or global equivalent faculty position) and who is not yet tenured at an accredited university, institution or design school. The goal is to fuel the research passion of the awarded women and inspire career paths in their respective STEM2D fields. Johnson & Johnson is looking to identify global women leading in both their research fields and leading as mentors, to be a vision for girls and other women in STEM2D.

Kathy Connell, Senior Director, New Ventures of Johnson and Johnson Innovation, Australia and New Zealand said “As the Johnson & Johnson International Ambassador for the Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) awards, I’m delighted to see 2 Australian winners in this year’s cohort.

“Dr. Gayathri Naidu, ARC DECRA Fellow/Senior Lecturer, University of Technology, Sydney won the Technology award, researching off-grid solar membrane water treatment, which has the potential to convert sea water to fresh water and contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

“Dr. Shayanti Mukherjee, Ph.D. Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne won the Engineering award for her work advancing women’s uro-gynaecological health using nanotechnology and 3D cellular bioprinting, helping to address unmet medical needs of up to 50 percent of childbearing women worldwide.

“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on everyone, not the least of which on women in STEM2D careers. Recent research tells us the COVID19 pandemic has resulted in an even further deterioration of gender inequity in the STEM workforce across the Asia Pacific Region,” added Ms Connell.

The Australian Academy of Science‘s recent report investigated the impact of COVID-19 on women in the STEM workforce across the Asia-Pacific region.

According to survey results of 1,109 people, including 865 women across 31 Asia-Pacific countries, the COVID19 pandemic has resulted in a further deterioration of gender inequity in the STEM workforce across the Asia Pacific Region. Changes in lifestyle and the blurring of boundaries between the spheres of work and home, increased domestic and caring responsibilities have combined to worsen the gender inequity for women in STEM careers.

The report also found the pandemic has impeded work productivity, increased precarious and insecure work arrangements, and reduced access to research facilities and workplaces due to lockdown arrangements. These new conditions have had a significant impact on individual wellbeing, with the survey finding 50% of survey respondents reporting negative mental health impacts in relation to work or home life.

“Now more than ever, we need to look at innovative solutions to future proof, support and enhance a globally diverse STEM2D workforce. The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Scholars’ awards aim to contribute to this mission and play an influential role in delivering female led STEM2D breakthroughs in the future,” stated Ms Connell.

Applications for the 2022 Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Scholars Award will open soon – click here for more information.


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