The Future of Female Leadership
Time & Location
About the Event
While young women across Sydney are considering their future careers, how many:
- Think that STEM education is important for helping them to achieve their social impact goals or solve real world problems?
- Understand how their interests intersect with the technology and innovation sectors?
- Have heard of the Sydney Startup Hub or know what a 'startup' is?
- Know a female innovator whom they admire?
The future of work for women is changing, but we are tired of 'telling' young women about it... We want to show them! Gathering at the Sydney Startup Hub, 50 female, senior high school students connect with Australia's best innovators for experiential learning that could change a future career, inspire a bold idea, or challenge an assumption! This full day event will challenge the perceptions of successful female innovators, as well as those who are only just beginning to help create a network of women who are committed to building inclusive teams, workplaces and technologies. To be STEM leaders, young women need to have the opportunity to know, admire, connect with and learn from female innovators.
SESSION ONE: WELCOME & WORKSHOPS
Students arrive at the Sydney Startup hub for an offical address and welcome from the NSW government's Jobs for NSW. Students participate in an interactive educational workshop addressing key areas of learning identified by student attendees in 2019. Learning modules include:
- Identifying innovation industries, how STEM is driving growth and change across commercial sectors, and why these industries are important for ensuring a postitive and sustainable future;
- Investigating the problem statement for gender inequality, including evidence based research on the barriers limiting female participation in STEM, and identifying important objectives for redressing inequalites;
- Exploring the startup model, what a startup is and how it operates, and revealing how the model can be leveraged by young people to drive, develop and fund their ideas;
- Discussing the future of work with an introduction to the Startup Hub from Jobs for NSW;
- Focus on a real world case study: introduction to Anna-Grace’s journey from a Catholic school Student in Sydney to life as an entrepreneur commercialising technology in Silicon Valley, San Francisco.
SESSION TWO: TOUR AND TRAINING
Students tour the Sydney Startup Hub with community leaders from Australia's best startup incubators and accelerators. Students see how the country's most exciting new companies collaborate in dynamic and flexible working environments supported by ecosystem partnerships and networking, creative design spaces, flat company structures and new technology infrastructure. After the tour, students participate in a coaching session with ex Silicon Valley executive and corporate mindset coach, Julie Demsey. Julie uses the same techniques sought after by Australia's top business leaders to help students to work on removing many of the mental blocks that stifle creativity and innovation. Students work on self-reflection exercises to grow their confidence and communication skills, and start to imagine themselves as leaders, excited to express their thoughts and feelings. This experience is an important segue into helping students to feel comfortable to build relationships with the female innovators they meet in the next session.
SESSION THREE: SPEED MENTORING
Students participate in an interactive presentation from the event's corporate sponsors. Leading women from top tier coporates discuss how:
- Their company is implementing strategies to increase female participation in STEM;
- They use STEM in their products and processes and why it is so important in their field of work;
- Their journey has evolved for them to become qualified leaders in this space, including their key challenges and successes;
- Students can be more involved with their company or products, including future pathways into work.
Presentations are followed by a speed mentoring lunch in which students rotate between networking sessions with a broad range of female innovation leaders. Scientists, policy makers, designers, coders, IP lawyers, storytellers and content creators, CEOs, academics, founders, investors... you name it! In these sessions, students develop vital networking skills and are exposed to a wide range of stories and perspectives that help to break down narrow sterotypes about women in STEM and their relationships with technology. Additionally, students can ask their burning questions around careers, subject selection, future study, ethical concerns and professional development skills, and get authentic and considered answers from women they respect.
Students will be provided with educational resources prior to their attendance at The Future of Female Leadership Day. These are scalable resources which can also be shared with other students who do not attend on the day. Participating schools can encourage everyone to access and engage with Orbispace content.
These materials include:
- Recommended readings on prototyping and ideation
- Small business basics
- Startup culture and female led innovation history
- A vocabulary list of industry specific terms, phrases, and acronyms
Students and leaders will also receive access to biographies on each participant attending their networking sessions to further connect with the stories, interests and skills of other women on the day. Students will be able to use these biographies to consider potential questions tailored to each leader’s experience and professional background.