Diversity is not a moral obligation – it is a commercial competitive advantage and imperative. At a time when the information technology industry is under massive pressure to be diverse in their workforce, the Tech Girls Movement (TGM) is mobilising a tribe of next generation leaders who are engaged and committed to solving real world problems with technology.
We have an emergency in that we need a qualified and capable workforce of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) professionals to help us to not only innovate our digital systems but also to maintain our current infrastructure. Resistance to diversity and inclusion is stifling innovation and creativity, and this inertia is debilitating our leaders and their visions of our technology futures. In her highly engaging presentations, Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen, author of Tech Girls Are Superheroes and Founder & CEO of the Tech Girls Movement discusses the necessity of disruption to avoid group think, and she provides practical suggestions for the future of leadership in the digital space.
Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen is one of Advance Queensland’s Digital Champions (2016), the Griffith University Sciences Alumnus of the Year (2016) and the 2014 Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA) Queensland ICT Woman of the Year. Dr. Beekhuyzen is a well-known advocate for diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), and her work is based on years of her internationally published academic research, her 15+ years of university teaching experience, and her work developing interventions for school children. She is the Asia-Pacific representative for the Association for Information Systems-National Center for Women in Technology (US) and the United Nations PRME Coordinator of the global repository on gender and technology.
Dr. Beekhuyzen works closely with educators in schools and with innovators in the technology sector, to increase the number of women in STEM. She has turned her research on gender into practice by producing the widely acclaimed illustrative children’s books Tech Girls Are Superheroes (1 & 2) and Tech Girls are Chic! – free books which have received widespread success with 60 000 copies distributed to school girls across Australia; 20 000 of those were distributed in just 3 months in early 2016, with one book in every school in Australia.
The Tech Girls Are Superheroes books present real life women role models in STEM to show how they use their superpowers to change the world with technology. This positive program is helping to reimagine what technology careers look like, and to change the perception of those who work in technology to focus on solving real world problems, superhero style.