Each Wednesday we interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries everyday!
What are you working on?
I’m passionate about ensuring all STEM students at university have an inclusive university experience regardless of their gender. Within this, my latest project is focusing on addressing the large number of mentoring programs that exist for STEM students and looking at ways to improve the outcomes of these programs, which are rarely as effective as we need them to be. This might mean we design a new, innovative program within Fifty50, but it also might mean we find an innovative way to bring all these programs together and generate better outcomes for students.
Why is innovation important to you?
Innovation is important because it’s necessary. When it comes to issues around gender equity in STEM, progress is slow and problems are very nuanced. That means we need to do things differently and change what we do, because things aren’t changing fast enough and we haven’t figured out how to speed it up yet.
What drives you to make a difference?
It depends on the day. Sometimes it’s frustration at the status quo, sometimes its inspiration from someone I admire, and sometimes it’s just common sense – addressing gender inequity in STEM is simply the logical thing to do.
Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
I think often women just need that first push, or the idea planted in their head that an entrepreneur is something they could be. I would never have considered starting an organisation or a business two years ago, but all I needed was some exposure to entrepreneurs and some experience doing something small to realise it was something I’d like to do. This means that you have to go out and find women who aren’t engaged yet, and that’s a huge challenge.