Techtrails STEM incursion visits the South West of WA

On Thursday 22 November the WITWA team had the pleasure of visiting Manjimup Senior High School to deliver our penultimate STEM & Future Skills incursion for the year. Our fabulous group of local STEM professionals, industry experts and entrepreneurs shared their stories and experiences with an energetic and enthusiastic cohort of year 9 girls and boys. The Manjumup-Bridgetown Times joined us for part of the day to capture the magic of Techtrails. Click here for their full story.

Photo courtesy of Manjimup - Bridgetown Times  Picture:  Tari Jeffers, Tari Jeffers Women in Technology speaker Kay Hargreaves talks to Manjimup Senior High School students about potential careers in technology.

Photo courtesy of Manjimup - Bridgetown Times Picture: Tari Jeffers, Tari Jeffers
Women in Technology speaker Kay Hargreaves talks to Manjimup Senior High School students about potential careers in technology.

Curious as to who our speakers were? Take a closer look at our Manjimup SHS STEM & Future Skills Program Handbook.   You can view more photos from the day at www.techtrails.org.au.

Perhaps you would like to be part of a future Techtrail incursion in 2019? We would love to have you involved. Simply reach out and get in touch. We promise it will be fun!

20 in 20’ Gala Awards Night a resounding success!

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On Saturday 3 November 2018, the fabulous WiTWA community celebrated 20 years since founding by awarding female STEM and Innovation role models. Below you’ll find our ‘22 in 20’, awarded with a trophy on the night. Dr Danielle Meyrick who was awarded the ‘First Among Equals’ winner with the highest score from the judges. Allyson Woodford took out the ‘People’s Choice’ award with the highest number of votes from the public (over 4,000 people voted!)Thank you to all who celebrated with us.

We also made two exciting announcements on the night:

Diversity Champions Program

A comprehensive list of all 87 amazing nominees for the ‘20 in 20’ Awards – you will find real-life, inspirational STEM and Innovation leaders in WA. Check out our inspiring role models! To build on this initiative, we also launched and are now accepting applications from companies that identify as “Diversity Champions” and would like to showcase their brilliance and support of our mission. For further information on how you too can make your mark as a Diversity Champion click here.

The inaugural WiTWA[+] Conference 2019

This exciting addition to our events calendar will be held in Perth, October 24 2019. An all-inclusive one-day event where we bring together extraordinary women – and men – to lead the charge on progress towards diversity and equality. We will showcase local, national and international speakers that challenge and provoke us to action. While we are currently busy making this event awesome, we welcome you to nominate yourself or anyone else you think can add value to this event. In line with our commitment to promote STEM in schools, we will include high school and university students in our audience; this is a great opportunity for all our attendees and embodies our message ‘If you can see her, you can be her’.

Please contact us for a chat if you would like to be part of this exciting initiative in 2019.

OUR AMAZING SPONSORS

A massive thank you to all our sponsors who helped us make the WiTWA 2018: 20in20 Awards a reality and cast a spotlight on the amazing, talented women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Innovation right here in Western Australia. The amazing people and companies who support us with incredibly generous sponsorship included: Accenture, Department of Communities, Edith Cowan University, SAP, Woodside, Accelerating Commercialisation, Amazon Web Services, Hexagon Mining, ImpRes, SEQTA, Valrose, Sentient Computing, Red Piranha, RSM and Optika Solutions.

Oh, what a night! WITWA 20in20 Awards Night Photo Gallery

Thank you to all who joined us to celebrate our recent milestone - 20 years of Women in Technology in Western Australia! Here are some wonderful images that capture the joy of the evening. As you can see, there were well deserved smiles all around!

WestTech Assemblage 2018 is back: Nov 1

Once a year the community comes together for the West Tech Assemblage to make new connections while celebrating WA’s diversity of talent and our spirit of innovation. It’s also a chance to hear from leaders of government and industry about job creation and small business opportunities in the coming year.

WITWA is proud to support this initiative and the intent of connecting and enabling more of us within the innovation ecosystem - you never know, that first conversation could be the start of a beautiful collaboration!

Tickets available via this link.

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The WA Brain Gain: attracting the world's brightest minds ...and keeping them?

The five-strong group of PhD and post-doctoral researchers on our panel on Tuesday 16 October were uniformly eloquent, engaging and inspiring.

So too was the building currently housing them and our panel event, the delightful Forrest Hall, the home of the Forrest Research Foundation

Our panelists were:

Ranging from bioscience to archeology, their chosen topics might be baffling to most of us on paper. But as each of the researchers explained their topics and added their personal brands of contagious enthusiasm, it was hard NOT to get equally excited about things we knew almost nothing about previously, like power distribution, sawfish and animal representations in rock art. 

Skilfully facilitated by Events sub-committee member Tracey Naidoo, the audience had the opportunity to delve deeper into the experiences of panel, including what brought them to their STEM careers. All described a curiosity or fascination, often beginning in childhood, with their chosen areas. 

We hope the Australian government is proactive in making it possible for these incredible minds to stay in Perth so they can continue to add immense value, as they are now. 

Negotiating your worth demysified

Last night Women in Technology WA Inc. (WiTWA)  held our bi-monthly TECHXchange event on the topic of ‘Negotiating Your Worth’.  This theme definitely resonated with our network, with another sold-out event at the Globe. 

Our MC Tracey Naidoo led a fabulous conversation with panellists Sam Moody, Neville Smith and Anna Ross-Adjie.

If you missed it, our top 7 takeaways were: 

1. Always have a number up your sleeve as to what you are worth

2. Know what you are willing to walk away from

3. Hiring is like dating; it's the nicest they are going to be to you

4. Close your capability gap

5. Be open to feedback, research, practice and prepare

6. Be able to demonstrate and articulate your value

7. Build you brand 365 days of the year

Our next TECHXchange event will be on 19th September on the topic of "THE FUTURE OF MONEY" and hosted by Bankwest. Ticket sales go live later this week. A special note of thanks also goes to Department of Communities WA for their support and sponsorship of our WITWA TECHXchange event series. 

Data Science Week Event Photos

A serious topic: "Data - good, bad or indifferent?", yet an evening where many a laugh was shared! The photos say it all. Together with Bankwest and Startup Grind we hosted a special event for Data Science Week. Thank you to everyone who joined in on the night!

Latest Techtrails STEM Newsletter out now

Our bi-monthly WITWA Techtrails STEM Newsletter is out with a great overview of recent events and incursions delivered, plus more in the pipeline. Significant updates include:

  • The release of a new STEM Skill Strategy for WA
  • Techtrails STEM incursion success at Duncraig Senior High School
  • Our next WITWA event on Portfolio Careers set for 20 June
  • Snapshot of our recent Data Science Week event
  • Showcasing a great short video interview about Space, Micro-Satellites & WA

If you did not receive your copy CLICK HERE to access our Newsletters and make sure you subscribe for future editions.

Thank you to our Techtrails Sponsors:

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Marking the 2018 Data Science Week milestone with WiTWA, Bankwest and Startup Grind

Opened by WiTWA’s Pia Turcinov and Bankwest’s GM of Everyday Banking, Lousie Vegar, we saw more than 100 Women in Technology WA (WiTWA) members and friends gathered in Bankwest’s beautiful outdoor courtyard for networking, drinks and the best party pies ever as we waited to hear from four esteemed and delightfully different panellists in the field. 

Teresa Harding from BankwestChris Nelson from CSIRO's Data61, and Elizabeth Antoine from Microsoft were facilitated by Andy Lamb from Startup Grind and Diana Adorno from WiTWA and ThoughtWorks. The topic? The age-old question: Data - good, bad or indifferent? 

The session was presented in an entirely accessible and inclusive manner to a mixed audience heralding from a variety of backgrounds. Whilst I can safely say no-one in the room last night was indifferent to the value of data and the myriad of ways it is being used, there were certainly some people that were more vocal in the Q&A session than others on the various degrees of evil it represents. ‘When data goes bad’ quickly became the secondary theme to the evening. 

In summary Chris Nelson’s view was that as long as corporates are driving data collection and third party use for profit in the market, their intention is not likely to be aligned with the greater good.  Andy (King of Disrupters) Lamb agreed that clever tech has a place in our modern society and said, “the future is bright and data is certainly part of it”. Theresa Harding summed it up with; “Kids of the future will be unconscious consumers of the world around them. Their data and behaviour in the public sphere will profile them within an inch of their lives”.

We canvassed the opt-out for data collection services too. For example that message that pops up asking permission to drop cookies on your desktop when you peruse a new site, and the geotech data that tracks your every move when your mobile is in your pocket, allowing restaurants to offer you specials when you’re in the neighbourhood, or your phone to predict your driving patterns so when you jump in the car at 5pm on a Friday it can inform you that the traffic is heavy and it will take you 22 minutes to get home.

And Google’s recent example of the newly announced feature called Google Duplex was also cited for debate (good, bad or indifferent?). It uses artificial intelligence technology to generate a natural-sounding voice assistant, able to make a phone call on a user’s behalf, hold a conversation, and book a restaurant reservation or hair appointment without you needing to even pick up the phone. Other than pranking and inappropriate calls, the security industry and the individual concerned with ethics and privacy will need to consider the downsides of this new tech.

Artificial intelligence expert Hussein Abbass of the UNSW Canberra told the media; …"AI Duplex collects people’s voice signatures to continue training the robot and even its own voice seems to be a synthesis of one or more human voices. (People) need to be aware how their data gets used and they need to offer explicit consent for the collection of the data and for the intended use of the data”.

The #witwa committee are Kay Hargreaves Donna Edwards Lucie Hammond Anitra Robertson Diana Adorno Pia Turcinov Maree Morrell and Lacey Filipich.

The next event will be a TechXchange gathering on Disruption and the Rise of Portfolio Careers, featuring Melissa Langdon from Bossmama, Josh Richards, our resident and much loved Mars One Astronaut candidate, and Shona Rowan, Peak Performance Specialist and Ballroom Dancing Champion.

More details can be found on the WiTWA website.

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Level up for greater good say WiTWA role models

Women in Technology (WiTWA) recently packed Spacecubed to the proverbial rafters while hosting a panel of top-notch local female role models in the tech and innovation ecosystem. 

This event is one of several in the popular boardroom series, which WiTWA run to support its mission to promote diversity and equality in WA. The level of interest and quality of questions were testament to two points worth highlighting:

  1. The rise and rise of Perth as an ideas hub with top talent, and
  2. The appetite for women to lift the bar through contributing to diverse teams and business agendas. 

We are thankful to all the role models on the panel who kindly gave their time to share their stories and inspire. 

We look forward to seeing you all at our next shindig to celebrate International Womens Day in conjunction with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) at the Hyatt Regency. Please see the WiTWA website for more details and to register. http://www.witwa.org.au/events/

Here are the highlights from the panel:

  • Even though things are slowly improving, there is still a definite lack of female role models in the tech sector. 
  • We need to stop competing against other women and instead work together to help and encourage each other to get ahead. The old ‘leave the ladder down’ approach for female colleagues is a good place to start. 
  • We may need to reconsider what a role model looks like - a tech role model may actually be younger than you and not fit the stereotype you once imagined. 
  • If you cant find a role model within your organisation, you need to network and look outside your organisation for inspiring role models. It may not be a ‘one size fits all’ but instead you may find several role models useful for different aspects of your development. 
  • Being stubborn, and resilience were key themes the panel members shared, which had enabled them to get to where they are today....doing the things that people said that they couldn’t do, and using this to drive themselves forward to achieve even greater things.

 

PM’s Prizes for Science Opening Soon

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Nominations for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are opening on 21 February 2018! Do you know or work with a humble science hero, promising early- or mid-career researcher or someone forging their way along the innovation trail that you would like to see celebrated on the national stage? Help them get the recognition they deserve by nominating them for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.

Past recipients include Professor Jenny Graves AO for her pioneering investigations of the genetics of sex, and Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson for her work optimising the global allocation of scarce conservation resources. This year the Prize for New Innovators has also been amended to better acknowledge Australia’s innovators for their contributions.

Check out the criteria for all prizes at business.gov.au/scienceprizes and think about who you might know that is eligible for nomination!

Original text published by www.business.gov.au.