Are you a role model?

Do you know someone who is?

Please read on

Image provided by TradeUP Australia – empowering women to discover their potential

Will you be a role model?

Because you are crucial to broadening the career aspirations and expectations of young women in Australia, economic Security4Women is seeking women from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. (STEM) careers and non-traditional occupations and industries to be highly visible role models on a stand alone website to be launched in 2015.

We are also seeking male and female employers of women in non-traditional occupations and industries to be role models or champions of change for this website.

Apply at www.security4women.org.au/rolemodels

The Role Models website will inform young women of non-traditional occupation pathways and will also have links to existing activities that encourage young women to explore these occupations and industries.

eS4W will primarily promote the webpage to schools through State and Territory Departments of Education, member organisations and external stakeholders.

We want expanded opportunities for the participation of women in the workforce and the increased participation of women in high-income, in-demand Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.

Why?

Young Australian women consistently out-perform their male peers in many of the key achievement indicators in secondary schools.

Despite this, young women are significantly less likely than young men to enter employment in the high-income, in- demand fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or in employment-based training opportunities in non-traditional industries.

This reflects broader, gender-segregated patterns in Australia’s workforce, where in the construction, mining and utilities industries women account for around 12 per cent, 15 per cent and 23 per cent of employees respectively.

Under-representation of women in these industries not only undermines gender equality and the economic future of individual women, it impacts negatively on Australia’s economy.

What is a Role Model?

A role model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.

Why role models are needed?

Role models may have a considerable impact on the future choice of career of younger people.

Mentors and role models are important in supporting and informing career exploration and decision-making by young women who are considering STEM and non-traditional occupations.

Role models and mentors are effective for ameliorating myths about what girls can or should do.

Role models show significant effects on female students’ self-confidence in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields[1].
Parent role models also significantly influence a person’s “education and training aspirations, task self-efficacy, and expectancy for an entrepreneurial career”.[8]
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[1] The gender difference between role models and female students has shown to have no significant effect on student attitudes, whereas perceived dissimilarity with stereotypical role models showed a negative effect on self-confidence in pursuing STEM careers. Perceived similarity with non-stereotypical role models (of either gender) shows a positive effect on self-confidence to succeed in STEM occupations.[7]

Who will benefit

Employment options for young women are limited by factors that range from persistent stereotyping to negative perceptions about and experiences of young women in non- traditional occupations.
Intervention in the career choices of young Australian women is crucial to achieving better employment outcomes and long-term financial security for individual women, as well as increased rates of women’s workforce participation, especially in the non-traditional occupations and industries and improved gender equity in Australian workplaces.

How it will work

Apply at www.security4women.org.au/rolemodels

eS4W will consider your interest, check your references and get in touch with you before uploading any information.

Once uploaded, we will get you to authorise the content of your profile before it goes live.

The website will be ready for population early in 2015 and launched soon after.

Once it goes live, additional role models will be able to lodge information on the website and their profiles will be published once processed.

We are exploring the potential for role models to also become mentors; for young women to make contact through eS4W.