This International Women's Day, we're celebrating female leaders in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths). The disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths in particular have traditionally been dominated by the male perspective. Women who progress against the odds to positions of power in science and business are not just extraordinarily competent and effective in the workplace, chances are they're also juggling other challenges that their male counterparts don't face.
However, through a combination of advocacy, activism and societal change, we're seeing a rise in the number of girls and women entering STEM professions.
International Women's Day brings light to how far women have come in the pursuit of gender equality in the workplace. At varying stages of their journey, today, we're taking the opportunity to celebrate some of the inspiring Australian women making waves in their field!
1. Ruwangi Fernando
Sri Lankan-born PhD student Ruwangi studies at Victoria University's Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities, and is also a sessional lecturer in VU's the College of Business as well as a Research Ambassador.
Ruwangi set up STEM Sisters in 2017 to retain, support and celebrate female international students and migrants (women of colour) in STEM fields.
2. Celeste Carnegie
Celeste is a Birrigubba and South Sea Islander Woman at the forefront of STEAM education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
As Program Director at non-profit Indigitek, she is passionate about creating opportunities surrounding digital technologies to support communities, and building platforms for First Nations people.
3. Dr Marzi Barghamadi
Dr Barghamadi completed her PhD on lithium sulfur batteries at Swinburne University of Technology in collaboration with CSIRO.
"Lithium batteries have a much lower environmental impact than fossil fuels. So, the aim is to replace more fossil fuels with these batteries, especially in the transport sector."
Marzi also supports women's careers in science through her involvement in Women in Chemistry Group - Royal Australian Chemical Institue Victoria.
4. Dr Lisa Harvey-Smith
Astrophysicist, Author and Australian Government Women in STEM Ambassador, Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith and her team are working to remove barriers to the participation of women and girls in STEM.
Throughout her career, she has conducted research at universities and institutes across the world and published more than 50 research papers.
5. Kayla Mossuto
Combining creativity, a background in business and her passion for sustainability, through her social enterprise Precious Plastic Melbourne, Kayla is pioneering ways in which art, science and technology can work together.
Through STEAM-specific technologies, Kayla and her team are producing a new generation of green materials, products and resources made entirely from waste, whilst working to make circular economy solutions for plastic accessible for all.
6. Julia Landford
Julia is the Founder of NatureArt Lab - a social enterprise established to promote engagement with nature and the environment through integrated art and science classes.
NatureArt Lab focuses on creativity, curiosity and observation skills coupled with developing a better understanding of ecology, symbiotic relationships, biodiversity and threatened species. Julia's programs aim to engage women from all walks of life.
7. Dr Francesca Maclean
Dr Francesca Maclean was one of few women in her engineering classes at the Australian National University. During her PhD, Francesca co-founded Fifty50, an award-winning student-led organisation promoting gender equity in STEM.
Since, she's continued to analyse systemic and cultural change for gender equity, becoming an adviser, workshop facilitator and speaker for clients across all parts of their inclusion journey across a variety of industries.