Women leading the way in STEM.

The Avanade Women in STEM Scholarship program is empowering and inspiring Swinburne students to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The program is Avanade’s first in Australia and provides students with financial support, internship opportunities and invitations to events for hands-on learning. The students also receive mentoring and coaching from Avanade Australia leaders throughout their scholarships and may be offered graduate placements upon completion of their degrees.

The underrepresentation of women in STEM is widely acknowledged as a social and economic issue. Girls and women are still significantly less likely to enter and complete a STEM degree, enter into STEM professions and climb associated career ladders. This smaller talent pool contributes to Australia’s underperformance in STEM, relative to comparable countries.

(Left to right) Avanade’s Christina Lourantos, Talent Acquisition Coordinator, Vanessa Tieppo, Senior Consultant, Talent Acquisition and Pauline Wilkinson, Manager, Business HR with Swinburne’s Anna Gigliotti, Senior Development Manager and Belinda Collins, Director of Advancement

Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester says this new scholarship builds on Swinburne’s legacy of encouraging the brightest women to pursue STEM and advance Australia’s competitive capability.

‘Swinburne has a strong culture of gender equity and inclusion. Avanade’s values of equality, progression and innovation filled with passion and purpose align firmly with our own, and we are delighted to embark on this growing partnership,’ she says.

Executive Sales Leadership and Corporate Citizenship Lead at Avanade Australia, Carol Gobby says Avanade and Swinburne share a mutual desire to help more people access the opportunities and benefits of technology and education.

‘As we navigate this period of uncertainty, we believe STEM skills will be pivotal to the ongoing recovery and rapid pace of change. We want to make a genuine human impact by helping to improve the diversity within those sectors across Australia - ensuring as many people as possible are trained and ready for the jobs of the future,’ she says.

Ella Lengerer-Barrett is one of the four inaugural scholarship recipients, with aspirations of pursuing a career in space.

She says ‘in a perfect world’ she would end up working at NASA or the Australian Space Agency.

‘I want to constantly be pursuing further knowledge in science. I want to (quietly) make an impact in the world, working behind the scenes to achieve something amazing.’

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