Our First Year Mentoring Program pairs first year STEM students with later year students for fortnightly catch ups during the semester. This program is designed to develop students’ inter-cohort connections and provide a supportive environment where all students feel included – which are key contributors to the retention of students at university. Students first meet at the program launch held at the start of the semester, and are provided with discussion content every fortnight. The program also holds an “Achieving more than Fifty” study session for all program participants in the lead up to final exams at the end of each semester. In semester 1 2019, Fifty50 had its biggest First Year Mentoring Program cohort with 140 students participating.
A Day in the Life was piloted in 2018, and provides ANU STEM students the chance to experience a day in the life of a workplace of their interest. Students are encouraged to think about how the organisation they visit promotes an inclusive work environment, with a specific focus on gender equity. Once the the visit was over, each student wrote a reflection piece describing their experience, and how the workplace promoted gender equity and inclusiveness. These written pieces provide the organisations with a platform for promotion and can be found here.
Growing Fifty50 is a development program designed to promote and encourage the continuous learning and growth of Fifty50 team members. In 2018 the education portfolio expanded its goal outside of the committee, with a number of team members presenting at STEM focused conferences across NSW. These presentations, constructed from the extensive research by the Education team members, showed participants gender-focused statistics their STEM field, how to identify unconscious bias and how to promote inclusivity in their everyday actions. Across all these presentations, 83% of participants rated their understanding of gender equity in STEM a 4.5 or higher.
In this year’s Growing Fifty50 program, four workshops were delivered by team members to the rest of the committee:
- Equity vs Equality
- Understanding Statistics
- A Year in Review
2019 and beyond
We hope to enhance and expand the workshops to other student associations and our industry partners to share passions, experiences, and knowledge to further promote gender equity in STEM.
This program offers an opportunity to students with an interest in gender equity in STEM to get involved in conversations with industry about the current state of the STEM workforce. Fifty50 teams up with an interested industry partner and selects a suitable article as a stimulus for discussion. An hour long discussion is supported by the organisation staff, Fifty50 members and of course the participants. These are usually intimate events where students are encouraged too actively engage with people in industry and organisation are able to showcase how they are fostering an inclusive culture.
This year we will continue
- Growing Fifty50,
- First Year Mentoring Program,
- A Day in The Life.
This year we will enhance our offerings through
- A student-developed online mentoring platform for our First Year Mentoring Program,
- Expanding our Chats with Fifty50 article club series with our industry partners,
- Formally integrating research team members into each portfolio.
This year we will introduce
- More ‘A Day in The Life’ industry partners,
- A wearable electronics workshop with ANU MakerSpace to promote the space to all groups on campus,
- A ‘How to Pick Your Science Major’ information session.
Long term Fifty50 aspires to
- Engage 50% of the ANU STEM student cohort,
- Develop a comprehensive library of informative resources to educate, challenge and inspire STEM students,
- Recruit a gender-balanced team and engage international students.