Home Blog Inspiration January 2021 Let’s inspire more young women to fall in love with STEM


Let’s inspire more young women to fall in love with STEM

by Maddie Sumner

Cloud Engineer

From an early age, I really enjoyed puzzles. Maybe those children’s puzzle books paved the way for my interest in engineering, a career full of problem-solving. It can’t be a coincidence that coding and solving puzzles give me the same feeling of satisfaction... thanks Mum for the books!
As I got older, the excitement of the ever-changing tech industry and range of new consumer devices really piqued my interest. And once you become the 'go-to techie' for friends and family, they'll never let you choose any other career.
 
These days, I’m all about encouraging more women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) like I did. We need to give them a lot more exposure to this exciting industry. I think that starts with promoting diverse and inclusive company cultures, making STEM education much more accessible at an earlier age, and making female role models in tech much more visible. 
How I believe we can inspire more girls and women to join the fold
To me, the key to getting more women interested in tech is sparking their curiosity at a young age, as well as exposing them to fantastic female role models.
 
Technology influences most if not all industries today, and we can get young women’s attention by showcasing STEM with the right initiatives.
 
There are already many great organisations out there doing this, like 'Code Like a Girl', The Stem Wrap from Women’s Agenda, and the GiST.
 
These are all worth being a part of and help to encourage more girls to study and be interested in STEM careers. Most of them focus on training and education, visibility and even tailoring the content to the stereotypical interests of women in the hopes of reaching a larger audience.
 
I also believe we could drum up more interest from women by integrating STEM solutions and exposure into other areas of education. This could mean exploring IT solutions in the mainstream curriculum, or maybe even machine learning in maths!
 
As far as increasing exposure to female role models, it’s inspiring just seeing people like yourself out there being great at something.

Some of the women I’m most in awe of have dedicated a little (or a lot) of their time to being visible and loud in a pretty large organisation. 
Telstra's supportive networks 
Telstra has a fantastic internal network called ‘Brilliant Connected Women' (BCW), as well as other diversity groups such as our Spectrum network (Telstra's network for LGBTQ+ people and allies), that promote great work and opportunities amongst women right across the company.
 
Our leaders throw huge support behind these initiatives – and the women in the company in general – which encourages all of us. It motivates us to stay with the company and make progress in our tech careers and education.
 
Ultimately, it’s comforting knowing that women at Telstra are empowered to be their very best. I'm looking forward to what's yet to come, and to taking advantage of every opportunity. I can definitely see myself building a long career at Telstra.
 
Are you interested in joining the Telstra team? Head to Telstra Careers website to learn more.
 
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