Doubt ki l ls more dreams than fai lure ever wi l l . Susy Kassem
We are now living in an extraordinary and exciting time of unprecedented technological change, rapidly shifting into a future that is vastly different from our past and present. Already we are in a time where glass ceilings are broken and where the possibilities for women are unchartered. Yet if we focus solely on the women in STEM, we still have a long way to go. We are regularly reminded that in Australia, currently, only 27% of the total STEM workforce is female. This figure represents a great opportunity. Opportunity for growth and disruption. Opportunity to inspire our future generation of women to continue to bring their unique upbringings, their skills and their personalities to the technology community. At Wrays, we have the privilege of working with some of the most extraordinary innovative and pioneering minds in Australia and beyond. We are proud to be surrounded by incredible female talent We sat down with our professional women to find out more about who inspired their young minds, their pathways into IP and what they hope to see for women in STEM of the future. Read on - and be inspired!
Is there any advice you would like to share with women embarking on a STEM career? There are a lot of women thinking they’re going it alone, but by attending events like those organised by WiTWA, you realise you’re not the only one! My advice is to attend industry events and talk to as many people as possible.
GRACE NG + Lawyer + Tech Enthusiast + Table-top Gamer
Which inspiring women did you look up to as you were growing up? US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was an inspirational figure as a brilliant legal mind, and also in respect of the success that she was able to achieve considering all the obstacles that were in her way. She faced challenges in even being admitted to law school as a woman, and despite achieving the highest grades she struggled to obtain employment because of her gender. Moreover, her commitment to progressive values and her consistent record of advocating for women and minority groups is truly inspirational. What do you hope to see from women in STEM of the future? I’d love, at least at some point in my career, get to the stage where ‘Women in STEM’ isn’t a thing any more; when there’s a 50:50 split and it’s not surprising or noteworthy to see women in positions of success in STEM.
Which women leaders did you look up to as you were growing up? Hedy Lamarr was a huge inspiration to me. She defied the idea that a woman could only be beautiful or smart. Hedy was both – an accomplished Hollywood actress as well as an inventor whose work eventually lead to the development of Wi-Fi. She showed that these stereotypes were baseless social constructs meant to be broken! Is there any advice you would like to share with women embarking on a STEM career? Follow your passions, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t (but don’t be afraid to ask for help when required). Read the full interviews here.
ALEXANDRA CHUBB + Lawyer + Molecular biologist + Identical Twin
You grew up in a very scientific household. Can you tell us about how that influenced your relationship with STEM? Dad started his career as a neuroscientist before moving into various roles in university administration, and ultimately, into the chief scientist role. Dad is naturally a very curious and inquisitive person – he likes to get to the bottom of things – and he has definitely fostered those same traits in his children. One of my earliest memories is sitting on our back deck in Wollongong with Dad and my twin sister. We would look up at the night sky together and Dad would talk to us about all sorts of fascinating things – about stars and planets, about why we could see the lightning before we could hear the thunder during thunderstorms, and about how travelling at the speed of light was (theoretically) linked to time travel. Sarah and I must have been six or seven at the time! We have absolutely loved science ever since. We were the kinds of kids who were always asking “how does this work?” or “why does X work this way?”– and those questions always sparked interesting discussions in our family.
ELLEN CHA + Technical Assistant + Chemical Engineer + Opacarophile
Who do you currently look up to? The women around the Wrays office that have been dedicated to their work for such a long time. They have been constantly adapting throughout their careers, which inspires me.