We enter through the coolest passageway into the stadium-like area where the speeches, Q&A sessions and panel discussions are held. It’s the most glam event I’ve ever been to, but also one where I walked away with new ways of thinking.
Be more daring
The day started off with a bang, with the first speech really getting me to think. Edwina McCann, Vogue Australia’s Editor in Chief speaks of an event.
A company advertised a job with ridiculously high requirements. When the applications rolled in, not a single one was from a female. Eventually the company found a female candidate they thought was a really good fit for the position. They asked her “why didn’t you apply?”. She replied “I didn’t think I was qualified enough”.
But you know what! None of the males that applied were ‘qualified’ enough and yet they still sent in their application. This was indeed surprising to me because I feel like I really relate. I don’t think I’ve ever applied to anything I didn’t think I was qualified to do.
My definition of qualified — being able to tick the checklist of requirements in the job description.
After hearing that story, I’ve decided that from today I’m going to be more daring, I’m not going to let the fear of rejection hold me back. I’ll apply to jobs where I think it may be stretching my ‘qualifications’ a bit, because I know I’m a fast learner and a hard worker.
STEM is an art
Technology is a form of creation and it requires creativity and human spirit. I definitely agreed with this sentiment from one of the event’s speakers.
But I didn’t always think so. 2 years ago, I was pretty overwhelmed and nervous about tech. Code? No way on earth was I going to touch that! It felt like a terrifyingly complex and foreign space.
And I was so wrong, anyone can learn to code. During my amazing internship at Oneflare I learnt SQL and Python (yeah I was a little distressed at first). But turns out, I loved it! I became interested in data science and analytics, an area that may sound highly technical but really, is a mix of science and art.
Another speaker emphasised that it should be “fashiontech” NOT “fashion + tech”. Because the 2 are irreversibly tied together in this current day. We shouldn’t think of tech as foreign, it’s become a core part of our lives and a core part of the fashion industry.
Like the 2 speakers, I believe we need to cut down the forbidding and unapproachable layers STEM is clothed in and rebrand it with creativity and art. We need to give the industry and space the full breadth of definition for what STEM truly is, only then will more women become involved.
How awesome was it, that we got our photo printed onto a cookie!! #foodtech