These female mentors are binning the traditional image of a scientist and writing their own rules. The Superstars of STEM program is gathering a whole host of Australian business women, scientists and technologists to act as role models for the new generation of young women and girls in STEM education.
“We have gathered together an extremely impressive group of women, and I am proud to see so many decision makers and influencers in Australian business, technology, science, research and the media taking part,” says Professor Emma Johnston, mentor and President of Science & Technology Australia.
Mentors in the program include Hon Terri Butler MP; former ABC Catalyst presenter, Dr Jonica Newby; Vice-Chancellor at Adelaide University, Professor Tanya Munro; co-founder and CEO of Refraction Media, Karen Taylor-Brown; and representatives of Google, GE and ASX100.
“Linking participants with women who are already public figures, we intend for them to provide our Superstars with insights into how they can become public advocates for their science too.”
The program was designed to equip participants with the confidence to enter into STEM education or the workforce, to face Australia’s growing need for skilled scientists and technologists. “STEM skills will become increasingly important for the Australian workforce, and the more young people who find an interest in science and technology, the better off Australia will be,” Professor Johnston said.
The all-female cast of mentors hopes to reframe the tired old image of Einstein in a lab coat as representative of scientists today. “Many of the mentors involved would have faced similar perceptions in their own careers, and I’m excited to show Australians that your typical scientist is harder to pinpoint – it could be someone just like you.”
To find out more and see the full list of mentors and participants, visit the STA website.