On Thursday 12 May, students and their parents had the opportunity to join the Women in STEM roundtable discussion hosted by the Science Department. Starting with afternoon tea and information stands from Brisbane's three major Universities and a display of student projects, the students enjoyed mingling and asking questions.
The roundtable table was a chance to hear from a group of diverse women who have pursued careers in STEM. Our panel was moderated by Cat Matson, who kept the discussion flowing and did a great job of wrapping everything up at the end. The panellists shared their experiences and personal stories with the audience, answering questions throughout. And in those question answers were the common themes of embracing opportunities and doing what you love. The women shared how their careers were not a straight line, with many trying other pathways before arriving in their current positions. Interestingly, while this was a women in STEM event, none of the women mentioned gender when speaking of the challenges they faced.
For our current students, the jobs they will pursue in the future are not yet known, so these messages are important. What they think they may be a career now, may not be where their learning path takes them. It may divert, but they should embrace new challenges and find what is truly their passion.
Thank you to Professor Joanne Blanchfield, Nicole King, Dr Muxina Konarova, Dr Robyn Araujo and Fiona Holmstrom for your generosity with your time. You were inspirational and informative and made a positive impact on our students. And a special mention to Emmanuelle Buecher Hall and Emily Preston for their passion for providing opportunities to learn more about careers in STEM.