Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australian Journal of Education




School of Education




Ross, K., Galaudage, S., Clark, T., Lowson, N., Battisti, A., Adam, H., . . . Sweaney, N. (2023). Invisible women: Gender representation in high school science courses across Australia. Australian Journal of Education. Advance online publication.


The visibility of female role models in science is vital for engaging and retaining women in scientific fields. In this study, we analyse four senior secondary science courses delivered across the states and territories in Australia: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Physics. We compared male and female representation within the science courses by examining the mentions of male and female scientists along with the context of their inclusions in the syllabuses. We find a clear gender bias with only one unique mention of a female scientist. We also find a clear Eurocentric focus and narrow representation of scientists. This bias will contribute to the continuing low engagement of women in scientific fields. We outline possible solutions to address this issue, including the accreditation of scientific discoveries to include female scientists and explicit discussion of structural barriers preventing the participation and progression of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.