Women in STEM inspire next generation

November 13, 2017

Inventor, scientist, businesswoman: Professor Cassandra Berry is championing STEM futures for young women.

The dazzling array of career directions on offer after studying science was on show at the WISE Women symposium at Murdoch University last week.

WISE Women is a series of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and entrepreneurship showcase days. They aim to empower girls to understand how studying STEM subjects can broaden their career prospects away from the laboratory.

Anna Pryor from Murdoch University’s outreach team said the event was the first of a series over the next 12 months targeted at female students in years eight to 10, as well as their parents and teachers.

“Around 200 girls heard from an inspirational line up of women who have branched into extraordinary careers from their science and technology studies,” she said.

“Amongst the speakers we had an entrepreneur, an award-winning magazine editor, and a business manager who shared their career journeys.”

Professor Cassandra Berry is one of the female champions of the project at Murdoch University.

“The WISE Women project is important to demystify careers for females studying STEM subjects, as enrolling in science degrees at University does not limit you to working as a scientist,” Professor Berry said.

“I’ve used my science background to work on virus infections for nearly 30 years but it has been a journey filled with entrepreneurship and invention as well. Science is a fantastic basis for a huge range of careers.”

Dr Amanda Woods-McConney from Murdoch University’s School of Education said that teachers and parents are very influential for girls’ STEM aspirations.

“These tailored workshops for parents and teachers will enable us to share the latest research on girls in STEM and also hear views on how STEM could become more attractive as a study option for girls.”

The talks will also be broadcast online to girls in remote communities via Western Australia’s Schools of Isolated Distance and Education (SIDE) Secondary School.

Murdoch University has received Federal Government funding from the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship Grant program to run the events.

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