Over the last month, we have been working closely with both startups and corporates to provide women with further opportunities to broaden their skillsets, and become future ready.
With 75% of the fastest growing jobs requiring technical skills, it’s important that we continue to upskill as we head towards the future of work. And in addition to this, it’s even more important that we create a community where everyone feels comfortable to go after a career they’re passionate about.
Below shows some glaring statistics from the Women in Stem Decadal Plan and highlights the difference in choices for study between young men and women. We can also see that only 16% of Australia’s STEM-skilled workforce is women, even though 47.5% of women are in the workforce (statistics from 2019).
To address the gap in women studying STEM related subjects as shown above, we worked closely with Elizabeth Knight, founder of Purposeful, to deliver a one week program to young women aged between 11 – 17, focusing on the tech foundations with key elements in finding your ‘why’. Our mission for this program was to educate young people about the careers available to them, and provide them with a program that is both empowering and purposeful, before diving into technical content.
In addition to this, to support the 16% of women with STEM-skills and to assist them to further their learnings, we partnered with Visagio, a corporate management consultancy. The aim of this program was to provide women with a more targeted approach to Data Science. Through this partnership, both during and post-program, our aim is to bridge the gap between industry and experience, providing a pathway for women to grow their careers or find new employment opportunities post program.
With women in particular facing barriers at all levels of the pipeline (see diagram below), it doesn’t matter if they’re studying, beginning their first job, or in a senior role, there’s always going to be a new obstacle to overcome. With this in mind, attracting women and girls to STEM and providing them with the environment they can thrive is such an important element of bridging these gaps and overcoming these barriers.
Lisa Harvey-Smith outlines the barriers and challenges for women at every stage of their STEM career in this diagram during her WiTWA presentation in October 2020.
So, where to from here?
The mission statement from Women in Tech WA is “if you can see her you can be her”. We believe wholeheartedly in building up role models and showcasing their brilliance. Through social media, industry partnerships and continuing to run programs similar to the above, we believe we can have a positive impact and create real change.
If you want to join us on this mission as we help to shape the future of the workplace, send us an email at email@example.com to get started.