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For International Girls in ICT Day, Tech girl superhero Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen and Women in STEM Ambassador Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith share 6 tips on how to create brighter futures for girls


April 22 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of International Girls in ICT Day. This is an important occasion to mark. In Australia, women make up 22% of the qualified IT workforce. How can we change this reality?

We asked some of the most relevant experts on women in STEM in Australia for their tips. The Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, and Tech girl superhero Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen tell us we all have a part to play to better engage girls in STEM.

Watch the video below for their six tips to create brighter futures for girls. 

1. Introduce STEM early to girls

Introduce girls at a young age to women in STEM role models, watch a fun STEM video about space and do an at-home activity, and engage with diverse characters with Future You.

2. Give girls leadership opportunities

Teachers can ask girls direct questions in STEM subjects and encourage them to lead STEM activities at school. 

3. Engage girls in a fun and creative way

Show them the Girls in STEM Toolkit website, read more about the Tech girls competition and the superheroes involved – and consider becoming a mentor or enrolling your school – and prompt them to think about STEM concepts like: why is the sky blue?

4. Challenge stereotypes about the IT industry

Show girls that women can have any STEM job they can imagine, whether it’s in IT, game design, astronomy, etc. Show them women working in IT. Encourage them to hear about women in STEM professionals in fields like robotics and astrophysics, like our Super STEM Careers Q&A.

5. Encourage girls to seek opportunities in STEM

The Careers with STEM website has internship opportunities across Australia and loads of information about STEM careers. 

6. Create safer workplaces 

Read the Respect@Work report by the Australian Human Rights commission on ways to change how workplaces deal with sexual harassment. Sign up to become a member of Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Ltd and receive awards for your gender equity efforts.

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The Office of the Women in STEM Ambassador supports publications about women's participation in STEM in Australia. Click to find out more.

Find more resources

Explore science communication programs for women in STEM, podcasts about STEM gender equity and other resources. Click to find out more.