608. Australia would like to thank the United States for preparing this communication and reiterate its messages. For Australia, supporting women's participation and leadership in IP intensive industries, as well as ensuring appropriate access for women to IP resources and entrepreneurship opportunities, is crucial to promoting the development of IP capacity and a dynamic economy. But as the document identifies, more can be done to ensure that we are harnessing the full value of women's participation in IP intensive industries. As part of Australia's commitment to promoting the rights of women and girls both domestically and internationally, Australia is already progressing a range of initiatives and programmes to promote the participation of women in IP-related industries.
609. Domestically, Australia runs a Women in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) and Entrepreneurship programme, which supports investment in gender equity initiatives that aim for lasting systemic change by eliminating barriers for women's participation in STEM education, careers, and entrepreneurship, including in IP and innovation intensive industries. Australia also supports an Office of the Women in STEM Ambassador, which is a government initiative designed to address gender equity in STEM. The Office works with educators to challenge gender stereotypes and promote inclusive and engaging STEM education for all, as well as bringing cultural change to institutions and workplaces to increase participation by women in IP intensive industries. The Government also runs a Boosting Female Founders Initiative, which helps female entrepreneurs and innovators overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support to grow their start-ups, including through targeted financial support.
610. Internationally, Australia has invested AUD 5.8m in the WIPO-Australia Funds-in-Trust Program, which supports the development of IP systems and expertise in Indo-Pacific developing countries and LDCs. The overarching gender objectives of the programme are to help women become innovators, owners, and users of IP in order to promote their economic empowerment. The programme aims to ensure women benefit from improved IP systems by ensuring they become leaders of, and are active in, IP decision-making processes. Every individual training programme would target a women's participation rate of at least 40%. Australia looks forward to further engagement in the WTO, including through existing initiatives like the Informal Working Group on Trade and Gender as well as in the TRIPS Council, to promote greater opportunities for women in IP and ensure we are able to maximise the potential of our IP intensive industries.