Celebrating women in STEM

Building a more equitable future

A young woman presents her ideas in front of a whiteboard displaying technical writing

Picture a scientist. Chances are, you saw a white man in a lab coat. You aren’t alone.

Women represent 50% of the university-qualified science population in Australia, but only 29% of the workforce. The statistics are even worse in engineering with fewer women undertaking engineering at a tertiary level and making up only 14% of the workforce.

Systemic barriers stop many women from entering, progressing, and being recognised for their achievements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These barriers begin during childhood and impact women throughout their careers.

At Stile, we’re uniquely positioned to help.

Over a hundred thousand students use Stile each day. This means we can have an outsized impact by accurately representing genders in our classroom resources and communicating to the next generation that both men and women are crucial in building the future. As a company, particularly one made up of many software engineers and scientists, we can lead by example and continue to build a truly inclusive, passionate team.

Sharing the careers of female scientists

Scientists act as guides throughout our resources, leading students through units and sharing their stories in career profiles. We’re proactive in who we choose to feature. A recent audit found that 56% of scientists depicted in our lessons are female.

Celebrating women in STEM

Each year, we create resources that celebrate the astounding contributions that women have made to science and engineering. We hope these encourage more girls to see STEM as a real possibility for their future and demonstrate to boys that girls are equally capable of contributing to STEM.

Recently, we’ve created lessons and posters on Dr Emmanuelle Charpentier and Dr Jennifer Doudna, Dr Stephanie Wilson and Dr Amy Wong. All proceeds from the sale of these posters went to the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria. We’ve also written a blog on gender bias and strategies to tackle gender bias in the classroom, and hosted webinars and round-table discussions.

Continuing to build an inclusive team

To build the best possible resources and meaningfully move the state of education forward, we need a team that is truly inclusive and represents our community. Gender equality is the first area we’re hoping to make a real impact.

Pie chart showing the leadership team is 50% femalePie chart showing the executive team is 50% female

While we’re delighted that 50% of our leadership and executive teams are female, we know that we still have work to do.

Software engineers built Stile, and we’re actively looking for more to realise our full potential. We’ve recently set targets to hire more experienced female engineers and now provide paid internships for young women and non-binary people.

Women in STEM: Software engineering internship

There’s a staggering shortage of engineers in Australia, particularly software engineers. But, when we speak to female students interested in STEM about careers in engineering, they tell us that it’s something for boys.

Our paid internship provides comprehensive, ongoing training to two successful Year 12 applicants each year.

We hope this internship breaks down some of the barriers that stop young women and non-binary people from entering the engineering industry.

Meet Dev and Ikram

Our first-ever software engineering interns! Watch the video to hear about their experiences with the internship.

Meet Dev and Ikram

Celebrating diversity

While we’re focusing on supporting women in STEM, it isn’t the only thing we’re doing. We’re deeply committed to creating science lessons that authentically represent our society, elevate underrepresented groups and challenge our preconceived biases. Our team considers everything from race to age, body types, power dynamics and family models when crafting our resources. We strive to foster a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community that celebrates our differences — we know that’s how we build the best team and science resources. Read this recent blog celebrating Pride Month at Stile.

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