With the year well underway, members of the class of 2019 are no doubt looking ahead to the end of the year, when they will be selecting their preferences for their first stage of tertiary study.
There are a lot of considerations that will factor into each student’s decision. For young women weighing up a STEM field like surveying, the visibility of female leaders in the profession would certainly be one of them.
The sad fact is that across all STEM jobs in Australia, only 27% are filled by women. However, with the emergence of programs like the Superstars of STEM, that number will hopefully soon be left in the past.
What is the Superstars of STEM?
Science & Technology Australia is a registered charity that has teamed up with the Australian Federal Government to launch a unique program.
The Superstars of STEM is committed to raising the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematic-related professions.
The sixty women in the second Superstars of STEM cohort were announced by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews MP in December. Everyone selected for the program are experts at the very forefront of their fields, now given the opportunity to stand tall as exemplars to girls and young women.
For Kylie Walker, Science & Technology Australia’s CEO and the Chair of Australian National Commission for UNESCO, the Superstars of STEM program’s relevance is clear. “It’s so important that we provide advice, role-models, sponsorship and encouragement to girls to help them see themselves pursing studies and a career in science or maths.”
Surveying’s place at the table
Standing proudly amongst the recently announced group is one of the most iconic members of the surveying profession, Narelle Underwood.
As the first female NSW Surveyor-General – not to mention the youngest NSW Surveyor-General to date – Narelle has built a reputation for excellence in the surveying field. Her credentials as a trailblazer speak for themselves.
Narelle has also always been a mentor for young women entering the surveying profession, and in her role as a Superstar of STEM, Narelle has already offered some advice to young women considering their path forward after school.
“Don’t spend too much time worrying about what you want to be ‘when you grow up’,” she advises. “Instead, explore lots of different activities, find what out you love to do and then find a career that allows you to get paid for doing it.”
For Narelle, that’s clearly surveying! You can learn more about Narelle Underwood through her profile on this website.
A guiding light to the next generation
Last week on February 11th 2019, the world celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science. While with every passing year the numbers of women entering the workforce as a STEM representative has risen, it’s still clear on a day like February 11th that there is more work to be done.
You can learn more about some of the amazing women who are forging a career in the world of surveying right here.