Herald Sun Stem Year 9 Girls


A new generation of young women are pursuing careers in the traditionally male dominated STEM fields, narrowing the longstanding gender gap, according to recent data. Sunbury Downs Secondary College year 9 students Alex Rosewall-Davison and Bella Jackson, both 15, said they planned to enrol in STEM university courses once they graduated. The pair were among 150 female high school students who attended a Women in STEM forum hosted by journalist Jacqui Felgate on Wednesday. Five guests – all women who achieved great things in STEM fields – spoke with the young women in a bid to further inspire their future ambition. Ms Rosewall-Davison said she wanted to pursue a career in immunology or biology after listening to Dr Fern Koay of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. “I feel really confident now that I know other girls have done it and the program exists, I feel really confident that I can pursue a career in what I love,” she said. Ms Jackson, who hopes to study political science, said she noticed more friends were interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field. “A lot of people in my cohort are interested in sciences. A lot of them want to be doctors or work in biology or chemistry.” New data from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources reveals the number of women enrolling in university STEM courses increased by 24 per cent between 2015 and 2020. “I would tell other girls to just do it, go for your life. You don’t get this opportunity very often so (pursue a career in STEM),” Ms Rosewall Davison said.

Kaitlyn Smith