Chief Operations Office & Full Time Student
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I just LOVE technology and maths! I always wanted to do something a little bit different and I love being able to solve problems. When I was younger I didn’t really know what I wanted to do… I wanted to work with computers but I didn’t have much thought beyond that. I ended up in an Engineering role and have since then come full circle back to Computer Science. I have always been an advocate of women in STEM roles and I am involved in promoting women in STEM roles as part of my role. I think when a maths problem, an engineering marvel, a physics discovery or a particularly tricky code solution gets you excited you have no choice! I have found my passion.
What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
There have been plenty of cool projects along the way. Each project is different: different challenges and different people. One of the coolest projects was when I was living in Northern Australia. A train had derailed and destroyed a section of track and a point machine. I was on a team of two and we spent the next 12 hours rebuilding this machine from scratch. It involved physical labour, resourceful thinking, problem solving and teamwork to be able to get this machine up and running again. This project gave me a sense of achievement when the machine first operated.
Generally speaking my favourite projects are the ones that have an unexpected outcome and help people. I am a big advocate for volunteering and helping people as much as possible. Sharing knowledge and skills with others develops not only them but myself as well.
Role models and heroes:
- Amy Poehler – just plain inspirational
- Helen Pederson – for helping me find the confidence to pursue my dreams. Her Open the Door project provides education and aims to address the issues women face in the engineering industry when returning to the workforce after having children.
- Karen San Miguel – a fantastic woman who promotes tech to young people through CoderDojo in WA. Also an all-round awesome person.
- Marita Cheng – founder of Robogals. I would not have the wonderful opportunity I have now if Marita didn’t get the ball rolling.
- My Husband – he is so patient, kind and supportive. He is such a positive male role model. I am so lucky to have him in my life.
Why do you loving working in STEM?
Every day is different! I love to help people and solve problems. In my current role I get to visit schools and encourage girls to think about STEM as a potential career path. There is nothing more exciting than a group of young girls who never knew that their love of maths and science could be part of their future career. The girls that I meet surprise me every time. Their ingenuity and ‘out of the box’ thinking just blows me away. I meet so many older women who have lost that along the way and I want to encourage everyone to become themselves again. Through my different jobs in STEM I have been knee deep in snow fixing track circuits on the railway in England, responding to faults in Northern Australia in temperatures that melted my work boots, and currently sharing the awesome places STEM careers can take you with girls around the world.
Advice for future STEMinists?
Jump! If you find something you love doing, then do it! Happy people are successful people. Work takes up a substantial part of your life so it is important to love what you are doing. If you make a mistake, you learn. If you chose the wrong path, you can change it. Nothing is set in stone.
Favorite website or app:
- Twitter – I love to tweet! Twitter connects me with the world and lets me discover so many new people
- Slack – Newly discovered. It allows me to keep up with my team on a regular informal basis.