On Tuesday 11th October, around 20 guests met at Government House at the Invitation of Lyn Beazley AO FTSE and Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC Governor of Western Australia. The Governor was interested in what this incredible group of people and the organisations behind them are doing across WA to around the problem of the lack of diversity in STEM.
From the “Empty Pipe” (young women not choosing to study or pursue Science and Tech), to the “Leaky Pipe” (women leaving careers in STEM throughout their careers), to the “Canary in the Mine” (isolated women and other minorities failing to thrive or worse in a toxic workplace), to the “Dripping Tap” (very few women being appointed to the top positions). Also the unconscious bias that causes someone to say – “There is no problem” or “This Diversity talk is all just a fad”.
The Australian Computer Society was represented by Vice Chair Michelle Sandford, and there were also representatives from Robogals, Women in Tech WA, The Fogarty Foundation, Curtin, Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering, Women in Mining & Resource WA, TradeUp Australia, Women in Oil & Gas, Australian Oil and Gas Women, National Women in Construction, Women in Mathematics, Women in Astronomy, Women in Engineering, Engineers Australia, Harry , SciTech, Perkins Institute of Medical Research, American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Department of Local Government & Communities, Department of Education, Prestigious International Scholarship Mentoring (PRISM) Alliance, and BubDesk.
Lyn Beazley AO FTSE championed the discussion along with the WiTWA Chairwoman Marjolein Towler – and the group agreed to set-up several working parties which would strive to drive through initiatives that had the potential to evoke real change in WA.