STEM subjects in school and higher education play such an important role in the livelihoods of young men and women who have an interest in a multitude of science, technology, engineering and maths careers including industrial engineers, electrical engineers, environmental scientists, civil engineers, energy engineers, market research analysists and so many more. My own career has been shaped by my knowledge of maths and finance and my ability to problem solve and think laterally.

It’s so encouraging then, to see the Australian government funding STEM in rural Australia with a $24million budget to establish a Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships program targeting these subjects.

The budget will fund close to 1200 scholarships worth $20,000 each to help students complete STEM study at university or through vocational education and training.

There will also be $4million allocated to helping children undertake STEM study which I think is incredible. Coding, analytical thinking and science all play such a pivotal role in today’s society, and the earlier boys and girls are exposed to these subjects, the greater our future role models will be.

Right now, there are significantly more men working in STEM fields and earning a higher pay than their female colleagues – only 16% of Australia’s 2.3 million STEM workers are women! Educating young women and giving them access to financial support to kickstart their STEM career is a game changer.

In addition to running She’s Empowered, I’m still very much hands on in the mining industry and know first-hand the role STEM plays in keeping a mine site operating efficiently and safely.

Working in Mine Planning, my STEM background helps me with feasibility studies, mine design, survey control, scheduling and cost estimates to name just a few. I certainly would not be fit for this role without my mathematics knowledge.

I think this is a fantastic initiative and encourage as many people as possible to make the most of the grants on offer!

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