The future needs women in STEM

March 29, 2018

Women in STEM: Professors Parisa Bahri, Cassandra Berry and Paola Magni smash the traditional 'scientist' stereotype

Murdoch University hosted the WISE Women Symposium this week following the International Women’s Day #PressforProgress movement being championed by celebrities across social media.

The Symposium echoed the sentiments of this global movement for gender equality, showcasing the variety of career paths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to about 200 female students in years eight to 10.

A panel of inspirational women from Murdoch University smashed the stereotypes associated with working in STEM, demonstrating that career pathways included everything from being a sustainable fashion designer or science journalist to head film animator at Pixar.

Immunology Professor Cassandra Berry said it was important to demystify STEM careers and prove that a science degree did not limit you to working in a laboratory.

“In the future, 75 per cent of the jobs are going to require STEM skills. Women make up 50 per cent of the population and half of society has these ideas, so it’s time to call them into action,” she said.

“I think STEM is everywhere, we just need to open our eyes and see it.”

Forensic biologist Dr Paola A. Magni said that your initial study area was just a first step to the many possibilities of having a career in STEM.

“We’re women, we can do anything. The sky’s the limit,” she said.

“Girls can be girls, and they can be a scientist at the same time. They don’t have to be scared to be a combination of both those things.”

Senior Lecturer in Science Education Dr Amanda Woods-McConney said it was great to see the high school pupils so engaged and excited about the different opportunities available in STEM careers.

“The Q&A panel was a great opportunity for the students to see fabulous role models who exemplified that careers in STEM go beyond science.”

Women in STEM: Professors Parisa Bahri, Cassandra Berry and Paola Magni smash the traditional 'scientist' stereotype

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