Girls In Tech
Women in general are still a minority in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. In Australia women hold only 14-25% of the roles.1
Young women and girls with disability are rarely encouraged to pursue study or work in STEM fields. However, the people who excel in STEM fields are divergent thinkers. Divergent thinking is the ‘ability to generate multiple possibilities, ideas, and solutions to a problem’.2 Divergent thinking or ‘creative thinking’ has been highly linked to autism spectrum disorders, learning disability disorders, and psychological disorders.3
People with disability (particularly women with disability) are severely underrepresented in STEM fields, et all Australian schools and universities are liable to provide inclusive policies and programs, and wide range of support and information to students with disability.4
The organisation Girls In Tech (GIT) Australia launched last night (September 7, 2016) in Melbourne (photos below). GIT has created a support framework to help women advance their careers in STEM fields. However, GIT is not just for professional women. They exist for anyone with an interest in technology, startups and providing women with a platform for growth.5 They have a three-part mission:
- Empowerment: Increasing the technical and entrepreneurial capacity to inspire women to innovate, share wisdom, and have a voice within the industry.
- Engagement: Utilizing the power of technology to bring women together to shape their future and democratize the world.
- Education: Facilitating learning and skillbuilding through advanced curriculum and programming within the STEM fields.
1. Women in Stem in Australia (2011), Professionals Australia, http://www.professionalsaustralia.org.au/professional-women/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2014/03/WOMEN_IN_STEM_v2.pdf
2. Reimagining College Admission Criteria (2014), Scientific American, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/what-the-e2809cnewe2809d-sat-misses-big-time/
3. Kyaga, S (2015), Creativity and Mental Illness: The Mad Genius in Question, Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom.
4. Article 24, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations, http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml
5. Girls In Tech Melbourne (2016), http://melbourne.girlsintech.org/