- Women in STEM Program is Free for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Schools in Australia
- Students Build Personalised STEM Resumes, Explore Mentor Journeys, and Engage in Virtual Field Trips
- Third Program Released on the Day of STEM Platform, Powered by LifeJourney
Leading female voices of Australian industry are sharing their personal career journeys through a new program designed to build awareness and inspire students to pursue pathways in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. According to a recent report by Australia’s Chief Scientist, women comprise just 16% of the total STEM workforce, a glaring statistic that has resulted in an increased focus to improve gender parity from leaders and organisations across the spectrum of Australian society.
The Women in STEM program guides the next generation of STEM leaders by connecting students virtually with real-life mentors who have navigated paths to STEM success. A cross-section of Australia’s major employers committed to improving gender parity in STEM are engaged in the program by highlighting female role models at their respective companies.
Students will explore six mentor LifeJourneys:
- Tzipi Avioz, IT Director Customer Solutions & New Zealand, AMP
- Vanessa Sulikowski, Senior Cloud Architect, Cisco Systems Australia/New Zealand
- Sonia Haque, Consulting Technology Director, Deloitte Australia
- Anelo Cournut, General Manager, Cardiovascular Health , Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices
- Sandra Hogan, Data Analytics Specialist, SAS Australia/New Zealand
- Anastasia Cammaroto, Chief Information Officer, BT Financial Group/Westpac
Over the course of the program students will build a personalised STEM Resume that summarises their career personality profile, favourite mentor journeys, important hard and soft skills for their preferred journey, a career roadmap and accomplishments in the program. The program culminates with an interactive “Women in STEM Press Conference” that offers mentor perspectives on topics facing women in STEM and asks students to provide their own opinion.
The Women in STEM program is available free of charge for all students, parents, teachers and schools in Australia and is recommended for students in Year 7 – University. Teachers can conduct the first part of the program for students in the classroom, which takes approximately 45 minutes, in class via their personalised instructor dashboard. Students can continue their career exploration using the program outside of the classroom, on their own time or with a parent at home. “Women in STEM” is the third program released on the Day of STEM platform, following the Collingwood STEM Cup and the Australia 2020 programs that were released in 2016.
Former Secretary of the Department of Education and Training, Lisa Paul AO PSM, who now serves as Chair of the Day of STEM Education Advisory Board, commented on the program, “Our team is incredibly excited to be launching the Women in STEM program to highlight the career pathways of the leading female STEM professionals in Australia. These women are outstanding role models for our younger generation and proof that women are leading the way in STEM.”
Gavin Fox-Smith, Managing Director Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices ANZ, and an appointed Male Champion of Change with a focus on STEM and Executive Sponsor of the Women in STEM program, said “Innovation and excellence in STEM fields are vital for harnessing new sources of growth in our economy, and this is particularly true for innovation in health care. Women are severely underrepresented in STEM education and employment, making up just 16% of those with STEM qualifications. Unless we can disrupt the status quo to significantly increase the representation of women in STEM, our nation will not fulfill its full innovation and growth potential.”
Dr. Therese Keane, board member for the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE) and the ICT Educators Board for the Australian Computer Society, will be speaking at the launch event on the application of the “Women in STEM” program in the classroom. Dr. Keane offered “As the new Digital Technologies Curriculum is rolled out in different formats across Australia, it is important that we leverage innovative programs like the Day of STEM to inspire students and connect what they are learning in the classroom to the exciting jobs of tomorrow.”
Sandra Hogan, a senior leader SAS and Women in STEM mentor, commented: “My work as a data analytics specialist at SAS is incredibly rewarding and I’m very enthusiastic about mentoring young women contemplating a career in my field. Australia urgently needs more data analysts so employment opportunities for qualified people will remain plentiful well into the future. The work is valuable and interesting – and significantly for women – it’s a field in which there seems to be no glass ceiling barring them from senior management positions, whatever the employer’s business.”
Anastasia Cammaroto, Westpac’s Women in STEM Mentor is enthusiastic about the program’s launch, “Mentoring is a powerful tool that we can leverage to increase diversity and inspire the STEM generation. I’m happy to be a mentor and share my personal journey with students across Australia who are interested in learning more about STEM career pathways. At Westpac, we are committed to an inclusive workplace that supports everyone to be innovative.”
Vanessa Sulikowski, Cisco’s Women in STEM mentor shared her thoughts on the program, “I am truly thrilled to be a LifeJourney mentor and part of the Women in STEM initiative. As a female in technical engineering roles, I believe this platform will help to encourage young women to pursue STEM-focused careers. At Cisco we are champions for inclusion and diversity and believe that technology, such as remote working and virtual education, is an enabler that provides many opportunities, for women and all those interested in STEM careers, to have the work flexibility to fit their circumstance.”
Sonia Haque, Deloitte’s mentor involved in the program, identifies social conditioning as one of the biggest challenges facing women in the STEM industry. “We often talk to young individuals, especially women, about the challenges of entering and working in STEM careers but instead we should be focusing on the positive aspects and benefits of working in such an interesting, dynamic and advanced area.”
The program will be officially launched through a kick-off event on 21 March at AMP in Sydney. For more information please visit https://dayofstem.com.au/wis.html and follow the conversation on Twitter (@DayofSTEM) #WomeninSTEM #DayofSTEM. Contact: Tim Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About Day of STEM: The Day of STEM aims to inspire the next generation of Australian STEM professionals through an interactive, online STEM awareness platform called Day of STEM. This platform, powered by LifeJourney, introduces students to the hard and soft skills needed to pursue their digital futures in STEM, whilst being mentored by Australia’s leading STEM professionals. Additionally, the system provides parents and teachers with dashboards that help to provide guidance and direction for the students’ careers. Day of STEM explores a range of careers through targeted thematic programs, including Women in STEM, Australia 2020 and the Collingwood STEM Cup.
Day of STEM Sponsors: Australia Post, AMP, Cisco, Collingwood Football Club, Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson – Medical Devices, La Trobe University, Optus, RACQ, Resilient Melbourne, SAS, Telstra, and Westpac.
Day of STEM Partners: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA), Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT), Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE), Australian Computer Society (ACS), ACS Foundation, Design and Technology Teachers Association (DATTA), Engineers Australia, and Science Teachers Association of Victoria (STAV).