Women in Workshop


Get Involved

Are you a female leader working in innovation, STEM and entrepreneurship? Are you ready to do your part to support the next generation? Take a look at our Female Leadership Mentoring Program to support students as they begin to imagine their futures.


Think STEM education is important for achieving impact goals and solving 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?

"While women constitute almost 50% of the labor market, there are only 28% of women in STEM fields as opposed to 72% of men."
(National Girls Collaborative Project: 2018)

Why young women need mentors

Women are underrepresented in the  Science, Technology, Engineering and  Mathematics  (STEM) fields. Even in companies where the representation of women is higher, women are less likely to hold executive positions and are, on average, paid less than men. In male dominated workplaces women are more likely to experience prejudice because of their gender. Young women, in particular, are less likely to be able to identify female role-models in the STEM space and can be heavily impacted by socialisation and unequal exposure to these fields when making decisions about their future career paths. STEM subjects are often siloed off from other areas of learning, making it hard for some young women to understand how their interests and passions intersect with these fields.

Blond Girls


Innovation Day

“The Female Leadership day allows young women to empower themselves and prepare for the workforce. It has given me access to female leaders who do what I want to be doing and provided connections to those working in STEM industries. Their stories are so helpful and inspiring. It is more than discovering your future, it also provides you with a chance to reflect on yourself. Events like this are so important for us to feel empowered in the STEM areas. We are not aware of all the opportunities available to us. Here, we can create a strong platform for our ideas. This is crucial in promoting equality and meeting these female innovators opens our eyes to what lies beyond school."

Statements from young women who represented their high schools in 2019

"We were honoured to be able to participate in this  event where we exchanged stories with young women full of potential and bright futures. Our EY representatives shared our vision for females entering the workforce and pursing future leadership roles. In turn, we directly learnt from the participants about what concerns, issues and dreams they had. Through our interactions, we also realised there is still a strong need to continue to expose these young women to the diverse range of leadership opportunities available to them in the tech and innovation space. As part of our commitment to build a better working world, we took our learnings back and are actively addressing them through our EY STEM Initiative."

Zainab Farouk, Innovator - Ernst and Young (EY)




We are calling on Australia's best female innovation leaders to stand side-by-side with the next generation. 

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, female senior high school students from across Sydney connect with Australia's best innovators for experiential learning that could change a future career, inspire a bold idea, or challenge an assumption.

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Before the Event

Students participate in Module One of the TOI Education Program prior to their attendance at the event. The TOI curriculum prepares students for professional networking with communication training and industry knowledge.

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Session One

Students arrive at the Sydney Startup hub for an official address and welcome from the NSW government's Jobs for NSW. Students participate in an interactive educational workshop addressing key areas of learning– startups, small business, innovation entrepreneurship and STEM leadership.



Session Two

Students tour the Sydney Startup Hub with community leaders from Australia's best startup incubators and accelerators to see how the country's most exciting new companies collaborate in dynamic working environments. Students then participate in a coaching session with an ex Silicon Valley executive to work on removing the mental blocks that stifle creativity and innovation. Self-reflection exercises help grow confidence and communication skills.

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Session Three

Interactive presentations are led by the event's corporate sponsors. Executive women from top tier coporates discuss leadership and career pathways for women and how STEM is used in their products and processes. This is 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!

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We are always collaborating with our partners in the innovation sectors– speaking, sharing and showing our work and tech at a wide range of events across the country. Orbispace alumni will continue to receive educational content generated by parallel initiatives, as well as being invited to attend STEM and innovation related opportunities hosted by our partners, including being given access to additional free or discounted programs.



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"In a world that’s changing faster than ever, our purpose acts as our ‘North Star’ guiding our more than 280,000 people — providing the context and meaning for the work we do every day. At EY, we help digital pioneers fight data piracy; guide governments through cash-flow crises; unlock new medical treatments with data analytics; and pursue high quality audits to build trust in financial markets and business. In other words, working with entrepreneurs, companies, and entire countries to solve their most pressing challenges."

"Developing individual connections with the girls during the one on one sessions and hearing about their plans for their future made the event very rewarding. I was pleased to have this opportunity to answer questions from the girls about my company’s work and my own personal career path, and to inform and encourage the girls to explore STEM fields, particularly engineering."

Jan Mason, CEO - Quest Payment Systems



In 2019 we hosted 100 women

Read about just some of the amazing women who attended our leadership innovation day in 2019

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Jacqui is a senior Cyber Security, and Risk Management professional with over 20 years experience in consulting, startup and MSP management. Jacqui has just left Telstra where she grew and managed a$150M+ security services business. Here she was responsible for revenue and sales, customer engagement and management, staff hiring and training and coordination of large account management across product and sales for Telstra’s security engagements.  Jacqui has dealt with government, federal government, enterprise, carrier and FSI clients within Australia and the UK. She has excellent relationships with C level executives in risk and security across both countries. During her time in industry, Jacqui has led and won bids for many large contracts which were technologically difficult or complex, including in theatre for Defence, Space and Intelligence in both Australia and the UK. Jacqui is regularly asked to present on cyber and risk at various conferences globally and in Australia. During SIBOS this year she was asked to join the debate to speak on whether a cyber 9/11 was imminent, with other experts from several countries. She has completed several podcasts and articles on security and risk and is regularly quoted in the media on both security and risk and diversity and inclusion, subjects she is passionate about. Prior to joining EY, Jacqui led Telstra’s security business, where she grew the Telstra security presence to be a dominant market player within the MSP market in Australia. Prior to this she ran startups within Australia, taking them to number three in market within 12 months, and prior to that was in the UK where she supported the Defence, Space, and Intelligence portfolios.