Be curious, confident and open-minded about a career in STEM – that was the message the annual Girls in Tech event delivered to more than 400 female high School students this year.

Held at the Foundry – Commonwealth Bank’s headquarters in South Eveleigh, Sydney – the annual Girls in Tech event co-hosted by Telstra aims to inspire female high school students to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

This year, attendees were able to hear from some of the country’s top female ‘tech whizzes’, including Accenture’s Managing Director Figen Mizrak; and Atlassian’s Jira Platform Head of Design, Tarra van Amerongen. 


In addition, attendees were able to watch a panel discussion moderated by Commonwealth Bank’s Senior Data Engineer, Marina Sigaeva, and featuring some of the bank’s other female STEM employees, including Development and Operations Engineer, Elysse Ng, and Data Science Manager, Kaavya Sriskandaraja. The women each spoke about why they love their roles, the skills needed to do their jobs, and the impact they are having in solving challenges for customers.

Commonwealth Bank’s Executive General Manager Institutional Banking & Markets Technology, Victoria Ledda, officially kicked-off the event by speaking to attendees about the endless possibilities associated with a career in STEM.

 “There is no denying it, technology is disrupting every single industry – fashion, banking, healthcare, the car industry... why not be a part of that disruption, why not equip yourself with the skills and knowledge that will allow you to be at the centre of that disruption?” Ms Ledda asked attendees.

The opening presentations were followed by an interactive technology exhibition that provided the young students with opportunities to hear from more women who work in STEM and learn further about emerging fields and technologies. Specifically, the exhibition booths provided students with the chance to discover real life jobs in cyber intelligence, explore artificial intelligence, trial virtual reality goggles and participate in a quiz that helped them align their passion and interests with possible careers in STEM.

To round off the day, the students had the opportunity to partake in a workshop run by the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), where they learned how to employ their voice and physicality to communicate effectively.