SheHacks Work Experience Program, gives girls in STEM experience at startups

Girl Geek Academy has partnered with world leading technology businesses Deloitte Digital and 99designs, to pilot a first-of-its-kind work experience program where students from Korowa Anglican Girls School will...

Girl Geek Academy has partnered with world leading technology businesses Deloitte Digital and 99designs, to pilot a first-of-its-kind work experience program where students from Korowa Anglican Girls School will work alongside industry experts to create their own startups.

As a father of an 8 month old girl, I’ve got to say this is an awesome concept and one that should be embraced across Australia. Early exposure to technologies real-world application can only be a great thing for inspiring the next generation of designers, engineers and creatives. 

On Monday and Tuesday, 40 Year 10 students will learn key STEM skills directly from industry role models at Deloitte and 99designs to hone their talents as “hackers, hustlers and hipsters”. Teams of 3 will then collaboratively build a startup on Wednesday and Thursday, and instead of a “shark tank,” teams will present back to students in a friendlier “dolphin tank” format on Friday.

The week-long program will be held at the OneRoof all-women coworking space in Southbank from 26-30th November.

“Entrepreneurship and technology skills are key to the future of work for the next generation of students and we want to give young Australians a head start. Gone are the days of running around getting coffees. We’re making sure students actually have the opportunity to experience work – and that the opportunities are immediately relevant and aligned with what young people are telling us they want and need to experience in these programs,”

Girl Geek Academy Co-founder and CEO Sarah Moran.

Korowa Anglican Girls School Deputy Principal Liana Gooch said the program will equip students with valuable tools and insights, whilst spending quality time getting to know leading women in technology, STEM and the startup ecosystem.

“We are keen to ensure our students see the relationship between the STEM skills learned in the classroom and their practical application in the real world. It’s exciting to collaborate with industry professionals to bridge that gap and showcase what a career in technology actually looks like,”

Korowa Anglican Girls School Deputy Principal Liana Gooch

At present women only make up 16% of all Australia’s STEM fields, but through initiatives such as this, Girl Geek Academy are on a mission to reverse the statistics and teach one million girls and women to learn technology by 2025.

The #SheHacks Work Experience is a bespoke program, customized to individual interests and learning methodology.  The program is designed to help the students explore their interests and passions in the STEM working landscape, and to help achieve gender equality in industry roles and sectors which traditionally attract less women.

Sarah Moran said the pioneering initiative is critical at this time when graduates face many uncertainties in the work market and are looking for more relevant employment experience that will help them to be truly work-ready.

The six areas addressed by the #SheHacks program include.

  • High-school students gaining life skills and knowledge through experience.
  • Changing career-building culture in schools, universities and families
  • Building Work Readiness
  • Mentorship and programs to guide students and allow them to engage in different career options.
  • Investigation into current and future professional landscape
  • Guidance and education for youths starting new businesses.

The #SheHacks initiative will extend into high-schools around Australia in the coming year.  To organise an event or for further information on Girl Geek Academy initiatives and programs, please visit: girlgeekacademy.com.

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Education

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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