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 love mixing science with media and the arts. My day job is hosting Scope which is a science TV show on Channel 11 for kids 8-14 years old.
Over the past 4 years I have been working with Canberran street artists and young scientists to set up science/street art collaborations. The scientists and street artists work together one-on-one to come up with the concept for artworks based on the scientist’s research. The public can come along and watch as the murals evolve throughout the day, meet the scientists and read about the science behind the art. It’s a fun, non-intimidating way to enjoy science and art.
I’m always looking for new ways to communicate with different audiences on science and tech topics and recently I went on an Antarctic expedition with 80 international women in STEM as part of a leadership development program with Homeward Bound. This has given me loads of new ideas and connected me to an amazing network of innovative women so watch this space!
Why is innovation important to you?
As a STEM communicator, I see gaps in knowledge, understanding and trust in science and tech everywhere and these gaps have real consequences (take climate change denial and the anti-vaccination movement, for example).
To reach different audiences and influence their understanding of STEM topics or positively effect their perceptions of STEM, we need to innovate. Communicating in the same way to the same people gets us nowhere, or at least nowhere new!
What drives you to make a difference?
Wanting to have a positive impact on the future of the planet has always been a driver for me. It’s why I decided to study science in the first place and it’s what lead me in the direction of science communication. A positive future for the planet also means a socially equitable planet so gender equity, particularly in STEM, is also a passion.
Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
To be honest, I have never used the words ‘innovation’ or ‘entrepreneurship’ to describe what I do. In fact I was surprised to be asked to feature as a ‘Woman of Innovation’. I think this is part of the problem. As women, we often don’t claim the labels we have earned whereas every mediocre man on The Bachelorette gives himself the title ‘entrepreneur’ to describe what he does.
My advice for women in innovation and entrepreneurship is to keep putting your hand up, keep asserting your knowledge and expertise and stop talking yourself out of the opportunities you deserve and more than qualify for.
There are loads of women who are already innovating and displaying entrepreneurship out there who are missing from the community simply because no one has told them they are part of it. Let’s find them and bring them into the fold.