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Westpac’s STEM work experience program opens doors for 100 girls

19 June, 2018

Westpac today launched a pilot program to encourage up to 100 female high school students in Sydney to gain valuable Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills.
 

With 75% of new Australian jobs requiring STEM skills1, the Westpac STEM Girls Work Experience program is the latest in a series of investments by the bank to support and grow Australia’s STEM workforce.

 

Anastasia Cammaroto, General Manager Business Integration, Westpac Group Technology, launched the program today at Sydney’s Auburn Girls High School.

 

“We know that Australia as a nation is dropping in school mathematics performance. Research suggests that by the time girls reach the age of 15 a large proportion has either already dismissed or not even considered a career in technology.

 

“STEM skills are essential to Australia’s future prosperity and that’s why we have invested in the upskilling of our community by helping more young women through this program.

 

“The Westpac STEM Girls Work Experience program is another powerful way we are tackling the barriers that exist in STEM education, such as gender diversity and socio-economic disadvantage, to inspire and support more young women,” Ms Cammaroto said.   

 

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, welcomed the announcement.

 

“Tomorrow’s breakthroughs start when today’s students are given the opportunity to fall in love with science and mathematics. However, we know not every student feels equally encouraged to enter STEM subjects or careers.”

 

“This program will tackle this issue right at its heart, helping young women to shine in fields where they are often underrepresented,” said Dr Alan Finkel AO.

 

Westpac has partnered with the Australian Business and Community Network and other partners to launch the pilot with the aim to see 100 students benefit from practical and soft-skill development work experience.

 

Westpac has over 20 well-established STEM-focused initiatives across the organisation including the Westpac Scholarship Program, Mathspace, Code Camp and the Westpac PhD STEM Program. This is in addition to supporting technology and other STEM-discipline students through a variety of tertiary pathway programs.

 

“Through our work with schools and universities and partnerships with industry and government, we are proud to advocate increasing STEM skills and awareness in our people, our customers and the communities we operate in,” Ms Cammaroto added.

 

Westpac is also currently hosting the Vogue Australia annual Vogue Codes Summit with the Sydney event this week (22 June) http://codes.vogue.com.au/event/summit-sydney/

 

For the first time, Westpac has collated its work in this increasingly critical sector in the Westpac STEM Commitment westpac.com.au/stem

 

 

Media Contact                                                                                        

Dianne Edwards

Westpac Media Relations

M: 0421 623 014

E: dianne.edwards@westpac.com.au

 

 

1 http://minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/sinodinos/media-releases/4m-put-students%E2%80%99-stem-learning-action