Go Girl, Get real with it – new tech conference encouraging girls pursuing careers in ESTEAM 

Go Girl, Get real with it – new tech conference encouraging girls pursuing careers in ESTEAM 

Event to excite about all the possibilities a future career in ESTEAM (Environmental, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) can bring.

Vic ICT For Women has launched a new free inaugural event for Victorian students in Years 7-12, called Go Girl, Get real with it.

All Victorian high schools and parents of girls aged 12 to 18 years of age can register their children for this event that takes place at Deakin University’s Burwood campus in Melbourne on June 21 2023.

The United Nations recognised the ‘Go Girl, Go For IT’ event as a world first for the development of young female talent.

NAB’s Chief Technology Officer Steve Day will run a special seminar at the event.  

Jessica Huynh, Managing Director, Go Girl, Get real with it, says: “Participation at the event is completely free for students. Thousands of girls across many schools have been willing to make the journey for two and a half hours each way on buses from regional areas for previous Go Girl events.”

Registered attendees can choose their own ‘adventure’ on the day, ranging from practical and hands-on immersion sessions to an interactive trade show and careers fair, as well as participating in small group workshops that showcase the reality and relatability of ESTEAM careers and pathways for high school girls to get inspired about.  

“Despite thinking that Gen Z females, the first generation born as digital natives, would be more open to ESTEAM careers, we have found this is not the case. This is why this event is so important. We need to paint a true, realistic view of the ESTEAM disciplines and highlight amazing role models that girls can resonate with,” said Huynh.

We want to build the future pipeline of talent our nation desperately needs to fill skills shortages in a diverse, inclusive and representative way.”

Role models taking part in the event include Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen OAM, Tech Girls; Renata Sguario, Founder of Human Skills Experts, Maxme and Chairman of Future First Technology; Sarah Moran, Co-Founder, Girl Geek Academy; Sharon Samson, Technology Domain Lead Corporate Services (acting) at ANZ and Carina Parisella, Head of Technology Workforce, ANZ and many others.

“Students attending can expect to hear from real, relatable and inspiring female role models, get their hands on and discuss the latest in technology including Artificial Intelligence, cybersecurity, robotics and 3D printing and learn about the varied career options in ESTEAM,” said Huynh.

While collective efforts to advance Australian women in ICT are starting to have an impact, women make up fewer than a quarter of students studying ESTEAM, despite diversity and gender equity being crucial to the capacity of ESTEAM to meet industry demand for talent and to address skills shortages.

There is also poor retention of women in ESTEAM positions. Of the total university qualified ESTEAM workforce in 2022/2023, only 27% were women with 15% working in STEM-qualified occupations and fewer than 10% held executive positions.

Men in Australia are almost twice as likely to be working in a ESTEAM qualified occupation compared to their female counterparts five years after graduating.

Huynh said: Go Girl, Get real with it is here to flip the saying ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ through showcasing incredible organizations and role models that girls can relate to and aspire to become.

“In conjunction with educational institutions and corporate organizations, Go Girl, Get real with it aims to overcome stereotypes and misconceptions, and highlight that girls can bring their own authentic self into ESTEAM and do amazing things.”

Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen OAM, Ambassador for Go Girl, Get real with it is a renowned advocate for technology innovation and diversity in ESTEAM and says that nurturing diversity in Australia’s next-generation leaders will result in a better-skilled future workforce that is better-equipped to solve real-world problems with technology.

This event is made possible by the incredible support of a volunteer workforce of more than 40 people currently working in technology who donate their time to help run the event.

Sponsors include ANZ, Deakin University, ASD, The University of Melbourne, NAB, JOST & Co (recent finalist in the Telstra Best of Business Awards), TPG Telecom, Carsales and many more.

  • Go Girl, Get real with it will be held on June 21 2023 at the Burwood campus of Deakin University.
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