Science & Technology Australia’s CEO Misha Schubert has resigned after four years at the helm to lead a newly formed industry superannuation lobby group.
The former journalist, who had helped champion and improve the visibility of women in the tech sector, will become inaugural CEO of the Super Members Council of Australia (SMC) in February.
SMC is a new peak body for industry super funds, which manage the retirement savings of more than 10 million Australians, chaired by former federal attorney-general and health minister Nicola Roxon.
Roxon praised Schubert’s “skills, fresh insight and gravitas”.
“Her experience as a journalist, shaping community campaigns and leading a complex peak body means she will be armed with vital skills to lead SMC at this crucial moment of change,” she said.
STA President Professor Mark Hutchinson said Schubert had taken the organisation, which represents more than 115,000 scientists and technologists, to new heights as an influential policy advocacy voice.
“She has doubled STA’s membership and revenue, diversified its income streams and strengthened its financial security, developed crucial Indigenous partnerships with deep trust and reciprocity, and built and nurtured an inspiring staff team of talented, hard-working stars,” he said.
“We are deeply grateful to her for all she has done to take STA to its next scale of success.”
Among her successes is the Superstars of STEM program, a government-backed initiative to raise the profiles of women in science and tech. An evaluation report released last year found it had a dramatic impact on improving the presence of women in public debate, as well as bolstering their confidence, career prospects and inspiring the next generation of woman. STA’s other flagship programs are Science Meets Parliament, and STA STEM Ambassadors.
Schubert said it was tough to leave a role she has loved deeply.
“It has been a constant inspiration to serve in this pivotal leadership role for Australia’s science and technology sectors, and to have the privilege of speaking with and for the nation’s science and technology leaders, experts and entrepreneurs every day,” she said.
“Australia’s remarkable scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians are crucial to our country’s future, its prosperity and social cohesion – and it has been such a privilege to serve them and our nation in this role.”
STA will begin recruiting for a new CEO in the coming weeks.