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
Help the Mumgineer movement continue to make a difference to women wanting to balance their careers with motherhood by signing up to Patreon. For less than $2/week you can help me cover the costs of running the podcast and keep the show going! Or, for less than the cost of a coffee per week, you can get exclusive access to bonus content whilst helping the show remain sustainable!
Why is Mumgineer so important?
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.
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 into motherhood. That piece of advice gave me the inspiration to continue working on my career knowing that it would not have a detrimental impact on my family.
I have some slightly alarming statistics from the 2016 Australian census data:
Did you know:
- the percentage of women enrolled in tertiary STEAM education was just 20.8%
- that of the STEAM qualified population, women comprised of only 17% and that percentage had only grown 2% in a decade!
- that the percentage of women in academia was only 31% for research staff and 14.5% for professors
- that women made up only 12.4% of engineers and 28% of the ICT workforce
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!
I read an article in an Engineers Australia Create magazine that 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.
My daughter goes to daycare and while they have some great activities that engage children in STEAM, a lot of children don’t go to daycare, so the onus is on us as parents to spark that love for STEAM subjects in early childhood.
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 which they could get from more traditional career paths for women such as teaching or nursing.
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