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High school girls encouraged to lead change for a better world

The QLD Government is encouraging high school girls to play an active role in closing the gender gap in Australia by pursuing male-dominated careers, developing entrepreneurial skills and leading change.

QLD Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said today (Tuesday October 3 2017) she will be using her speech at next Monday’s EmpowHer conference (9 October 2017) for Years 9 to 11 girls to urge them to form strong networks and support groups to nurture their future learning and career development.

“I want these girls to dream big and consider fields in which women are currently under represented,” Ms Enoch said.

“Whether it be in government, business or the professions, we need more women’s voices at the table so that policies reflect the diverse nature of our society.

“To develop a strong and vibrant innovation culture we need to draw on the widest possible talent pool – this means ensuring that more women and members of disadvantaged groups in our society are given the opportunity to move into leadership and entrepreneurial roles.”

The conference, to be attended by around 150 students, will be held at Brisbane’s The Precinct – Queensland’s innovation hub in Fortitude Valley.

It has been organised by ChangeMakeHer Australia, a grass-roots student organisation co-founded by Brisbane State High School Year 12 students and social entrepreneurs Maja Wilbrink and Ivana Santic.

“The mission of ChangeMakeHer is to inspire, empower and equip Australian girls to develop their STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths), leadership and entrepreneurial skills in order to become the change makers of the future,” Ms Wilbrink said.

“We want this conference to be an opportunity for girls from across schools to come together to network with each other. We will be encouraging girls to ask each other about their passions and give them the opportunity to connect.

“The major call to action will be for girls to start their own ChangeMakeHer pods within their schools, to expand the network and to create a community.”

The EmpowHer conference will be sponsored by River City Labs, an anchor tenant in The Precinct, Goodwall, FUEL Girl Shaped Flames and YWCA Australia. The all-day event will include key female speakers from industry and academia.

ChangeMakeHer is the Australian chapter of GirlBoss, founded by New Zealand-based women’s rights activist and social entrepreneur, Alexia Hilbertidou.

“Increasing the number of girls and women involved in STEM-related learning and career development must be a state and national priority, as the bulk of the knowledge jobs and innovative breakthroughs in the future will require STEM skills,” Ms Enoch said.

“My hope is that these girls will carry their experiences at the conference with them to become our highly skilled knowledge workers and tech entrepreneurs of the future.”

Source: QLD Government

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