3 minute read
In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) this month, three students from The Australian National University (ANU) attended the 2023 WIC International Women's Day Luncheon.
WIC, an organisation for Women in ICT (information technology), champions the unique skills and knowledge of women in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM), aiming to accelerate progress towards a gender equal future and good outcomes for all societies.
To deliver their 2023 luncheon and panel discussion, WIC partnered with Alo Enlightened Women to focus on gender equity for all – no matter the background – and fully embraced the UN Women Australia IWD theme of Cracking the Code: Innovation for a Gender equal future.
Shruti Vellat, a Master of Business Information Systems student at ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE) attended the event with her peers Ashley Tang, an Information Technology Honours student at ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics, and Isha Singhal, who is studying a double degree in Economics and Science at ANU.
Associate Professor Ying-Yi Chih, CBE Associate Dean (Students and Industry Experience), believes that events like this one are crucial in supporting female students from information systems and technology disciplines.
“It allows students to gain valuable insights from, and network with, inspiring industry professionals, and connect with future employers, which can greatly benefit their career development,” she says.
Both Shruti and Ashley came away from the event feeling energised.
“As a young female ICT professional, hearing from women who have overcome barriers to achieve success in the ICT industry is inspirational, motivating me to pursue my goals against all odds.
The WIC IWD Luncheon left me feeling empowered and hopeful about a more inclusive and diverse future within the ICT industry,” Shruti shares.
Having the opportunity to connect and network with other women in their field, and hear of their resilience in facing challenges, gave Ashley a sense of optimism for tomorrow.
“Attending the WIC IWD Luncheon was empowering. Learning from industry leaders and connecting with other women in STEM was encouraging and a reminder that we are not alone in our struggles.
Meeting these successful women who faced challenges but overcame them gave me real hope for the future. I feel optimistic that we can create a more inclusive STEM community by inspiring the next generation,” says Ashley.
Shruti also recognises the importance of these opportunities.
“Representation is a great way to provide young students with role models in this field. Networking and learning from these inspiring women can help students navigate the challenges and opportunities in the industry,” she says.
For Isha, the event was encouraging.
“It was very inspiring to meet and talk to powerful women, who have overcome many barriers to achieve what they have today. It reminded me to be brave, and not shy away from opportunities – even if I think they are slightly out of reach.
I hope that in my professional life, I will remember to be courageous and to ask questions that should be asked,” Isha says.
The College is grateful to WIC for their support in funding our students’ attendance at the event.
According to WIC Vice President, Josephine Calabria (Director EY – Intelligent Automation), opportunities such as the WIC luncheon are vitally important for young women in IT.
“Events like these are important for the community, as they create a safe and inclusive environment for women at all stages in their career to connect and support each other, which builds confidence and breaks down barriers.
WIC uses its events to highlight the concept of "You can't be what you can't see". The women speaking at our events tell authentic stories about their career journey to empower the future generation,” Josephine shares.
The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of student and employer engagement opportunities. Click here for more details.