Study Melbourne Ambassador Ruwangi Fernando set up STEM Sisters in 2017 to attract, support and celebrate female graduate researchers undertaking science engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) research.
Workers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) play an important role in Australia as they are critical to the country’s innovation and responsible for many of the cutting-edge ideas and technologies that create new jobs and raise the living standards of Australians.
Ruwangi says that Australia’s STEM community can still improve in terms of diverse cultural and gender representation, which is one of the reasons she started the program.
We need STEM women of colour role models to promote that a career in STEM is as attractive and attainable. Through mentorship we can increase self-confidence, boost communication skills, and enhance leadership.
The STEM Sisters Mentoring Program provides international female students (mentees) with the opportunity to increase their understanding of the industry, strengthen their skills to be successful within any of STEM industries and extend their professional network.
For women of colour in STEM in general, there is a reduction in participation as you go up in the STEM career ladder—and it’s quite noticeable.
Customised matches of mentors and mentees will be based on areas of interest and career goals. With the opportunity to gain some valuable experience and insight into how to overcome challenges and barriers that might be affecting young mentees. Mentors have the opportunity to give back to the industry, share their experience and support fantastic young engineers early in their careers.
This mentoring program is your time to stand up and make your voice be heard. You have a responsibility to the young girls who view you as role models and who will go down the same road as you.
If you would to know more about this program, visit the STEM Sisters website.