To celebrate International Women’s Day last week, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) opened its doors to more than 50 female STEM students, who heard from two accomplished ANSTO female scientists.
ANSTO CEO, Dr Adi Paterson said the event was one of a series of activities that can help young girls to see themselves in STEM careers and working in places like ANSTO in the future.
“Today, some of the most influential women in Australian science work within ANSTO or serve on our board,” Paterson said.
“While we have made progress achieving gender parity on our Board under an acting female Board Chair and across our senior management team, we have more work to do. Encouraging young female students is a key part of our education and outreach program.”
Paterson said that many of ANSTO’s STEM outreach activities are focussed on engaging young girls and women, with leading female scientists at ANSTO providing a source of inspiration.
Dr Kirrily Rule and Dr Katie Sizeland shared their personal experiences on how they each built a successful career in science with young women from Kensington’s Sacred Heart College, and St Ives’ Brigidine College.
Katie, a biomedical materials scientist, who holds a PhD in Engineering and Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Nanotechnology, undertakes research to generate real-life benefits in the biomedical and agricultural industries.
This year she was selected for a STEM leadership Initiative, Homeward Bound.
“There are opportunities for women to use science in a variety of applications depending on their professional interests,” said Katie.
“Every woman with a passion for science has the potential to bring a new perspective and new ideas to the field.”
Kirrily, an instrument scientist, who has a PhD in physics and postdoctoral experience overseas, is an authority on advanced magnetic materials and a committed advocate of STEM goals.
“Studying science at school enabled me to develop an extraordinary career in research which has taken me all around the world and back again,” said Dr Kirrily.
“Advanced physics is exciting, challenging and rewarding.”