Discussing the importance of gender, socio-economic, and racial diversity in the mathematical sciences, MacKenzie spoke at length about the details of the upcoming Choose Maths program.
“The BHP Billiton Foundation recently made a commitment of A$50 million to help address the under-representation of girls and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in STEM,” he wrote. “Partnering with the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) and CSIRO, the projects focus on teacher professional development, mentoring and student support and changing stereotypes and behaviours of parents, teachers and the community to recognise the importance of STEM subjects and professions – and to help ensure we uncover and develop the next generation of innovators.”
AMSI will begin to deliver the Choose Maths program in 2016. The program is divided into four key areas:
- Mathematics-ready teacher development
- Women in mathematics careers-awareness campaign,
- Inspiring women in mathematics network, and,
- The annual BHP Billiton Awards for Excellence in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics.
Mr. MacKenzie also discussed the role of women in education, research, and the workforce – which are key areas the Choose Maths program hopes to address.
“With female representation in manager and senior roles doubling over the past four years in our company, and with women now making up nearly half of our Australian graduate intake, I do have hope for the future. We continue to work to improve diversity and inclusion and to fill a pipeline of STEM capability, but it is critical to attract more scientists into industry for Australia to succeed.”