The Acknowledgement and Appreciation of Women’s Excellence in STEM.

4 July 2019

On the 21st June 2019, the 11th Annual Connecting Women Lunch was hosted by BioMelbourne Network. This event proved to be not only a great celebration of women in STEM, but also an important recognition of male champions amongst us, whilst pertaining to the overarching theme: discovering excellence and the celebration of talent and effort.

CSL was the premier sponsor of this event and presented a short video at the beginning of the lunch. The importance of students, graduates and working professionals in the Australian medical research community is outlined in this video. CSL highlights that the future generation of aspiring STEM students have an opportunity to voice innovative ideas and the industry has the capacity to recognise talented students.

The keynote speaker of the day was Catherine Fox. She delivered an empowering speech, including how the support of women in the workforce can positively impact their capabilities when completing tasks. When women have an equal opportunity as men do, they can be viewed with respect and prove to be excellent in all that they do.

“On-the-Couch” was a segment facilitated by Professor Sally McArthur, a research and science leader and the Executive Director BMTF at CSIRO Manufacturing. Firstly, Alison Mew, the Director at the Centre for Biopharmaceutical Excellence (CBE), encouraged everyone to be authentic and question what people bring to their organisation. Professor Doug Hilton, Director at WEHI, allowed us to think about what would make us flourish in the workplace. The third and final speaker, Dr Janine Kirk, is a Life Member of BioMelbourne Network & Chairman of Phoenix Australia. She emphasised the importance of self-reflection on one’s performance in the industry.

The overall atmosphere of the event was warm and welcoming to all. As a volunteer, I enjoyed listening to the speakers on stage and communicating one-on-one with guests. To the aspiring, young, professional women in the industry, I leave with this note; never lose your resilience or determination to achieve a task.  Where there is a will, there is a way.

Jessica Rosa


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