Why Australia needs more women in STEM professions and how you can help us get there

POSTED DATE: 2nd November, 2015

AUTHOR: Jillian Kenny, Machinam

Only 11% of today’s engineers are women. Does it matter? Well, imagine for a moment what our world might look like if that balance was fifty-fifty. How might our cities be different? Our schools? Our hospitals?

I was recently talking to a woman named Emmy, who shared with me that as a teen she wanted to be a medical engineer. She was inspired by this idea after noticing that if hospital beds were able to adjust just another 20cm lower, it would make the world of difference when patients are transferring from a wheelchair to a bed. She didn’t become an engineer, but pursued her interests and became a nurse. When I asked her why she didn’t go into engineering, she said, “I love helping people, I didn’t think I was smart enough and I wasn’t good enough at maths.”

These are just some of the traps young women, and also in many cases their parents and teachers fall into when thinking about engineering and other science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) professions. Read more...