Episode 15: With the Techgirls Movement Foundation Bio Be Aware Team on their experience of the project

Episode 15: With the Techgirls Movement Foundation Bio Be Aware Team on their experience of the project

As the title suggests, this podcast is all about unearthing a new perspective on risk.

My guests are experts in their fields where they impact risk either directly or indirectly. My interviews aim to lift the lid on risk and rip it apart to give you a whole new perspective on it.

My name’s Lisa Sisson and I am founder of risk consultancy, Unearth. I’m also becoming known somewhat as a “Risk Rebel”.

At Unearth we believe that risk starts and ends with people. Equally, we believe that opportunity starts and ends with people. So if you’re not looking at risk with, through and by your people, then you are not only leaving your organisation exposed to risk, you are also not opening up the opportunities that a people-centred risk strategy will deliver.

In this episode of Unearth a New Perspective on Risk, we talk to a few very special guests that I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about creating a safe zone for people to allow themselves to stretch to set themselves up for success. This passion has led me to become a mentor in 2019 for the Tech-Girls Movement Foundation. This organisation runs an annual Tech-Girls Superhero competition that provides a program to give skills and a new perspective on STEM. The program combines problem solving through a social business and technical lens. The girls, who range in age from seven to seventeen, are tasked with producing high quality business plans, pitch videos and prototypes. The program provides a pathway to role models by connecting each team to a female mentor to build a safe environment to help build their confidence as part of a team.

The program invites the girls to look at real-life challenges and I can tell you their problem solving abilities are truly remarkable.

The reason I invest my time as a mentor in this program is because I want the girls to know that they can achieve anything they put their mind to. I want them to be able to appreciate people’s differences and to be able to make decisions as a group. I want to encourage respect, but also importantly, I want the girls to be able to appreciate the types of environments where they are set up for success.

2019 was my first Tech-Girls competition. My team (High School students) designed an app for students to help them find their first job. The app was called Breakthrough and it won the Gamechanger award that year.

In 2020, my second year, I mentored a team of Year 5 girls, who developed the Bio Be Aware App. This won the NSW category for Primary Schools, which was such an exciting project to be a part of.

In this episode, I interview my team of Year 5 girls and I can’t wait for you to hear from them.

Here are some of the things we talk about.

  • Why they chose to create an app around biodiversity.
  • Their favourite part of the process.
  • Advice from the girls to others who are thinking of participating in similar competitions.
  • Their wishes for the world.
  • What they want to be when they grow up.
  • What they would like to tell their 30 year old selves.
  • Their one wish for their mums.
  • We hear from the mums of the Bio Be Aware team, and their experience of the project.
  • We also talk to Andrew from NSW National Parks and Wildlife about his thoughts on what the girls achieved through their app.

We exist to give girls access to hands-on technology and programs to build their skills and confidence.

The Tech Girls Movement Foundation campaigns for a future where women will lead and innovate across STEM fields, thus empowering themselves, and bringing broader social and economic benefits.

At Techgirls, we take a timely, holistic and evidence-based approach to targeting normative gender stereotypes through complementary programs. These programs provide girls aged 7-17 with STEM skills, mentoring and positive role-modelling, whilst including the community through industry partnerships, school and parent collaboration. Efficacy of the Techgirls programs is optimised by engaging girls in STEM in the formative stages of their education, before negative societal perceptions are entrenched. STEM skills such as coding and robotics are taught, thereby building girls’ skills and confidence in these fields. Key interpersonal skills are also addressed as the flagship program, the Techgirls Competition, is team-based, workshops provide entrepreneurial skills, and girls build rapport with their mentors who are female industry experts.

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