My name is Jessica Dennien. I am a wife, mother and engineer, a "mumgineer". I work with individuals and employers to provide insights on how balance can be achieved within the workplace whilst ensuring an efficient, engaged workforce.

A common concern heard among the STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, Maths) community is the difficulty in getting girls and women engaged in STEAM subjects and pursuing STEAM careers. But a conversation not as often had is the difficulty retaining women in STEAM careers.

Retaining women in these careers can be difficult particularly when they decide to start a family. Balancing a demanding STEAM career with family life can be difficult when the male dominated system expects mothers to adapt to it rather than updating the system to allow flexibility and work with ALL parents who want to achieve a better work / life balance.

Losing this talent is not only detrimental to the women who lose engagement in the workforce, but also to businesses that experience significant talent loss. This should be concerning to employers who are experiencing these types of losses as they are losing an investment when talent and IP leave their business.

Why is Mumgineer so Important and how can I help support the movement?

Mumgineer isn't just about inspiring the next generation of people to become engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, but also about empowering the current generation of women in STEAM to feel confident in bringing the next generation into existence whilst also making a meaningful contribution to society through their work.

Family

Hi there! My name is Jessica. I am 28 years old and I am a wife, mother-of-two and civil engineer. 

A bit over two years ago when I announced my pregnancy at work, a trusted colleague of mine who was, and still is, a well-respected female engineer and mother of two beautiful children, congratulated me on my pregnancy and told me to never let anyone tell me that I can’t have it all.

At the time I didn’t think much of it but I have actually taken that piece of advice with me through the course of my pregnancy and now intg that it would not have a detrimental impact on my family.

I am proud to be an engineer and love seo motherhood. That piece of advice gave me the inspiration to continue working on my career knowineing the positive impact my work has on my community. I am passionate about spreading the love for all things engineering and “STEAM”.

Statistics from the 2016 Australian census data:

  • the percentage of women enrolled in tertiary STEAM education was just 20.8%
  • of the STEAM qualified population, women comprised of only 17% and that percentage had only grown 2% in a decade!
  • the percentage of women in academia was only 31% for research staff and 14.5% for professors
  • women made up only 12.4% of engineers and 28% of the ICT workforce

I’ve met many women in my career that have been nervous about having children or have put it off because they wanted to focus on their career and didn’t believe they could do both. Perhaps this is another reason why the percentage of women in STEAM occupations is so low. STEAM occupations are notoriously demanding and competitive, especially for women who seem to start at a disadvantage, perhaps young women aren’t choosing to pursue a career in STEAM because they want a better work/life balance. 

I started Mumgineer for three reasons:

  1. To inspire other women to believe that you can actually “have it all” and there is no need to choose between a career and motherhood
  2. To celebrate amazing women successfully balancing their careers in STEAM with motherhood
  3. To inspire other mothers (whether from a STEAM background or not) to encourage STEAM learning in their children of all ages

Women are incredibly underrepresented in STEAM occupations. This is something we as a society have been aware of for well over a decade. I remember there being women in STEAM initiatives in my schools growing up. But the percentage of women in the STEAM qualified population has only risen 2% in a decade!

An article in an Engineers Australia Create magazine said that children that disengage with STEAM subjects, particularly girls, disengage before they finish primary school.  The same article suggested that incorporating STEAM activities into early learning can help to sustain STEAM engagement through primary school and into high school.

I work with some fantastic organizations that provide opportunities for girls in high school to engage in STEAM subjects. But although there is some good participation, it is still a minority of girls getting involved. And no wonder, we are trying to engage students that have already disengaged so the onus is on us as parents to spark that love for STEAM subjects in early childhood.

The Mumgineer Podcast has already reached many women and inspired them to be confident in choosing a career path they are passionate about knowing they will be able to balance that career with having a family if they choose to do so.  

"I have always been worried that I will have to compromise on my profession if I start a family. Seeing women like you inspire me, and give me the hope that I can manage both profession and personal life."

- Mumgineer Supporter 

The Mumgineer movement is working to help engage the next generation as well as empowering women to truly believe that they can "have it all". Help support the movement by signing up HERE

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