Women in STEM committee

Women in STEM committee

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The Faculty of Science and Engineering at Macquarie University is home to a large community of women studying and working in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Discover the outstanding work of our women researchers, and explore the resources, events and networks supporting and celebrating women in STEM.

Committee members


June 07, 2019 - Faculty Women in STEM Committee & Dept of Chiropractic Morning Tea

On Friday 7 June, the Department of Chiropractic and Faculty Women in STEM committee hosted our monthly morning tea in the Chiropractic Clinic to celebrate the last day of classes.  Ashley Wheeler and her colleagues did a lovely job catering for the attendees from different departments across the Faculty with a selection of foods for all tastes.
Thanks very much to all for coming!Women in STEM: Chiropractic

May 15, 2019 - Faculty Women in STEM Committee & Dept of Biological Science morning tea

The Department of Biological Sciences co-hosted a lovely morning tea, with the women in STEM committee, with the theme: STEM and having kids. We specifically invited colleagues who are currently on parental leave to attend.

Biological Sciences Head of Department, Distinguished Prof Michelle Leishman introduced our speakers Dr Lizzy Lowe and Dr Chris Reid who both had recently taken parental leave (and Lizzy is still on it). They described their experience of being a parent of a new-born, and the support they received from the University in taking this leave. They also talked about maintaining contact with colleagues during the leave.

The biologists are terrific bakers as the morning tea was delicious! We thank Prof Mariella Herberstein (Chair of the Biology EDI committee), Prof Rob Harcourt (Women in STEM committee), Jenny Ghabache and Annie van Uden (organisation and promotion) and our speakers Chris Reid and Lizzy Lowe from the department.

Photo collage morning tea with people and food

May 2, 2019 - Homeward Bound: Voyage to Antarctica

Katrina Sealey and Tayyaba Zafar, AAO-MQ spoke to an enthusiastic audience of Faculty staff, students (and children) about their experience of Homeward Bound.

Homeward Bound is a global leadership initiative to create a network of 1000 women with a background in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine). Each year women in STEMM are selected from across the globe and they engage in a year-long program to develop their leadership and strategic skills towards shaping the future of our planet. The program culminates with a 3 week voyage to Antarctica to provide the final deep dive in the leadership program and experience first-hand the climate change crisis humankind is facing.

In 2018-2019, Homeward Bound selected 80 women from 26 nationalities as their 3rd cohort. Dr. Katrina Sealey and Dr. Tayyaba Zafar from Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO-MQ) were chosen to be part of this cohort. They visited Antarctica during December 2018 - January 2019, where they completed the last part of the leadership program and experienced the effects of climate change.

Read the full report here.

April 10, 2019 - Faculty Women in STEM Committee & Dept of Physics and Astronomy morning tea

The joint Department of Physics and Astronomy and Faculty Women in STEM committee morning tea was a lovely event with many new faces to welcome to the department.

The event began with an Acknowledgement of country and welcome by Mike Steel, Head of Department. Mike spoke about the Physics and Astronomy Department equity, diversity and inclusion committee and its activities. Mike also provided homemade cupcakes, each decorated with the name and image of a scientific woman.

Devika Kamath, a new Superstar of STEM, was the featured speaker who engagingly described her personal story of her motivation to study astrophysics, and her plan to offer mentoring for students from India and South America who seek opportunities to pursue careers in STEM.  Devika also gave some background on the Superstars of STEM and Science and Technology Australia, the peak representative body of Science and Technology in Australia, which runs the program.

Kelly Sharpless created a surreal "physics" invitation and took some great photos.  And behind-the-scenes logistics, organisation and catering was capably provided by Sue Lumley, Kelly Sharpless, Megha Patel and Emma Hastings.

Thanks to all who made the event a great success!

FSE Morning Tea

March 8, 2019 - The Faculty of Science and Engineering celebrated International Women's Day

The Faculty of Science and Engineering celebrated International Women's Day with a parallel celebration of the first birthday of WOMEESA at afternoon tea. It was a great turn out with men and women from across the Faculty coming to hear from our speakers and to network.

We are grateful to Ms April Foote and A/Prof Heather Handley (Earth and Planetary Science and WOMEESA) and Ms Jenny Fang (Earth and Planetary Science) who organised the event and Ms Kelly Sharpless (Physics and Astronomy) for photography. April gave an overview of WOMEESA – it is thriving as a unified Australasian network of women working in Earth and Environmental Sciences in academia, industry and government.

Representing the Faculty of Science and Engineering Women in STEM committee, Prof Judith Dawes introduced Dr Fatemeh Salehi and Ms Naila Mukhtar (School of Engineering), who described their experiences at the Women in Engineering Leadership Summit in 2018, which Naila helped to organise. They identified the importance of leadership qualities such as ethics and team spirit. Relating to the theme for International Women’s Day in 2019, “Balance for Better” they highlighted the extra value that diverse and inclusive teams bring to an enterprise. Their experience has inspired them to run two events at Macquarie to promote leadership for women in engineering!

A/Prof Elena Belousova introduced an historical and cultural perspective - Women's Day originated in Russia after the Revolution and is still celebrated on March 8 in combination with Mothers’ Day as a public holiday. She gave us a wonderful positive message about starting a new life at the age of 30 when she came to Australia with limited English, later enrolling in a PhD at Macquarie, working hard, seizing new opportunities, and she is still with us!

January 31, 2019 - Faculty Women in STEM Committee & Dept of Maths and Stats morning tea

What a fantastic Morning Tea we had last Thursday 31 January co-hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Faculty Women in STEM committee. With around 70 colleagues in attendance across the Faculty of Science and Engineering, great conversations and networking were had over tea, coffee and treats.

Looking forward to the next one!

Our activities

IEEE Women in Engineering Leadership summit

Naila Mukhtar of the School of Engineering writes about her experience both helping to organise and then to attend the IEEE Women in Engineering Leadership summit, held in November 2018 in Brisbane.   Fatemeh Salehi also attended the summit with support from the Faculty.

Read Naila's blog.

(Naila is third from the left on the picture below)

FSE Women in STEM on Twitter

The Faculty Women in STEM committee is working to enhance the profile of women in the Faculty. To that end, we have created an FSE Women in STEM twitter account. https://twitter.com/STEMwomenMQ

Please follow us! Please retweet! Please send us examples or news items concerning Women at MQ Faculty of Science and Engineering that would be appropriate for this account.

Women and Girls in Science Day - 11 February 2019

People around the world are celebrating "Women and Girls in Science Day" on Monday 11 February. View the UN website  http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/

Work-life Panel Discussion

Co-organised with the IEEE Women in Engineering group

Part 1 - Can you achieve work-life balance
Part 2 - Career tips from a STEM panel discussion

Gender Equity in STEM Recruitment Workshop and Seminar

8 November 2018 - Professor Marlene Zuk, University of Minnesota - Evolutionary Biologist, and Dean of Faculty

Professor Marlene Zuk gave a seminar and workshop on Gender Equity in STEM Recruitment to a diverse group from the Faculty of Science and Engineering and other Faculties and Offices in the University. Find out more

Launch of WOMEESA

A unified Australasian network of women working in Earth and Environmental Sciences in academia, industry and government

Find out more

Women making a difference webpage

Find out more

Minutes of recent meetings

More information

Unconscious bias in hiring committees

It is Faculty policy for all hiring panels to discuss unconscious bias before shortlisting candidates for interview.

Visit the RRI-tools website

Visit the Royal Society website

Harvard implicit association test

You can test your own biases.

Find out more

University Policies on Staff and Student Conduct

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