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Women in STEM

Got a question about working in STEM?

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Original Project

As a young woman, have you ever thought of a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths?

Queensland will need to rely on greater diversity in these fields into the future. We want to encourage and support women and girls into careers in STEM so that we can deliver the innovations and benefits to the economy that Queensland needs.

More women in STEM = benefits for everyone!

We want to celebrate Queensland’s talented and hardworking women, and give you the opportunity to connect with them.

Do you want to talk to the 2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize winners?

Maybe you want to ask them how they decided on their field, or what their biggest challenge has been? Maybe you want to ask what they love most about their research, or how you can start planning your own career in STEM.

You are invited to talk to the winners right here on eHub.

Question from Mia-Rose

Hi Amy, Could you please tell me more about your discovery on how we can use our immune system to fight sepsis and to what extent and why you chose to research sepsis. Do you have a passion to fix it or is it something else? Thank you very much Mia-Rose.

Answer from Amy:

Hi! I’ve always been interested in bacteria and the human immune system. As we know, your immune system is incredibly important for keeping us safe from infections. In normal conditions, your immune cells sense bacteria and destroy them, thus eliminating the threat to your health. Neat, right? However, in some cases, your immune cells go a little haywire and their attack on the invading bacteria gets out of control. This causes massive damage to your own tissues and organs, resulting in a condition we call septic shock. In most cases, this leads to organ failure and death. This is all very counter intuitive: how can something that’s supposed to protect us end up hurting us the most? Mysteries about the immune system, such as septic shock arising from sepsis, are what attracted me to this project. I would love to be able to control the immune system one day through some sort of drug or therapy, and help sepsis patients.

Question from Antoinette

Why do you think women should get all this educational aid? Is it even fair?

Answer from the Office of Queensland Chief Scientist:

Research shows that women in science and other STEM jobs are under-represented. To help address this, and to also ensure diversity in the workforce (resulting in diversity of ideas), female students are encouraged to consider STEM subjects and STEM careers.

Without actually setting targets, educational aids and other mechanisms that increase the visibility of women are required from time to time. The Women in STEM Prize gives us a great opportunity to highlight the array of achievements of women working in STEM to young women who may not normally consider studying or working in STEM to provide role models for them.

Answer from Cecile Godde

Women are missing in science and in leadership positions. For example, women numbers drop from 53% of female science bachelor graduates to 28% of female researchers. The pipeline is thus very leaky! This is a shame because diversity in science and at the leadership table provides us with a whole set of complementary skills, approaches and leadership styles that are much needed to solve faster our considerable global challenges (such as food security, human health and climate change).

To avoid a leaky pipeline in science, many interventions are necessary such as supporting women’s visibility and providing trainings for everyone in unconscious bias, particularly in job selection processes.

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Cecile Godde and Amy Chan

A researcher looking at how we can use our own immune system to fight sepsis and a scientist looking at improving food production through sustainable agriculture has taken out this year’s Queensland Women in STEM Prize. 

Ms Cécile Godde was awarded the 2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize - Judge’s Choice Award, and Ms Amy Chan awarded the People’s Choice Award.

Read the full media statement about Ms Cecile Godde and Ms Amy Chan here 

Why should women consider a career in STEM? Be inspired by our 2018 Queensland Women in STEM Prize finalists:

  • Nataya Branjerdporn
  • Amy Chan
  • Cecile Godde
  • Claudia Stocks