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C2 Create to Collaborate on the Disruptor’s Co Podcast

By Gavin Heaton

C2 Create and Collaborate on the Disruptor’s Co Podcast

Episode: STEM education Disruptors Debrief Podcast

Date: 20 May 2022 | Episode duration: 8m 22s | Host: Laura McDonald | Interviewed: Joanne Jacobs.

In the first Disruptors Debrief podcast episode, Laura McDonald speaks with Joanne Jacobs about STEM education and what it truly means in these uncertain times, how companies are creating pathways for women into the STEM and tech workforce, and you’ll also hear about the C2 Create & Collaborate series of Career Hacks that Disruptors Co is running starting at the end of May.


Introduction –  spoken by voice over | 00:00 – 00:18 (Music) Welcome to the disruptors debrief, a podcast on innovation, strategy and marketing brought to you by Disruptors Co.

Laura McDonald | 00:19 – 00:23 I’m Laura McDonald and I’ll be your host and presenter this episode.

Laura McDonald | 00:24 – 00:23 Jo, what is STEM and how is it important?

Joanne Jacobs | 00:30 – 01:44 Look, STEM is science, technology engineering and mathematics, um and it’s been a focus of attention really in education for probably the last 30 years, it was certainly on the agenda way back when I was at school, and I’m old.(Laughs) Um but ah it’s something where trying to get more and more women into education courses, that are in those subject areas, but right now, the thing that I’ve learned in the many years I’ve been in business, is that we need women of any um education background to be working in these industries because they’re future focused. So they are, you know, whether they’re tech companies, or whether they’re organisations that are looking at the future of business, what they’re doing is, they’re providing, um um, and organisations are providing consumers with options for the way they want to live that people are adopting – right, so there’s so many professions, that are based in um 20th century ideals – sorry, you were asking?

Laura McDonald | 01:44 – 01:59 I was just going to say Jo, and what does that say about um, you know we hear about women returning to the workforce or changing careers a little bit later on and therefore going, going into a new uh sector?

Joanne Jacobs | 2:00 – 02:54 Women who are returning to work, ah regardless whether they’re starting a new career or returning to work, if they’re going back to professions that are ah have no future fundamentally, that are being replaced by automation or being replaced by more efficient systems, generally speaking, um this is a problem because it means that people are reducing their um you know capacity to earn and they’re reducing their capacity to look after their families. And, for women in particular this is a growing area, and so, we need to be giving young women in particular, but women generally speaking, we need to give them the opportunity to work in STEM industries even if they’re not STEM qualified. So, there are opportunities to increase people’s capabilities through micro credentialing programs, training programs, all sorts of different ways of getting into stem careers.

Laura McDonald | 02:55 – 03:18 And that leads into my next question Jo, for you today. How do businesses, in this time of change, um not just in Australia but the Asia-Pacific, how do they accommodate these changes? To get the best out of not just women, but their workers, so that they can, so that their businesses can be sustained in the long run?

Joanne Jacobs | 03:19 – 05:43 So, you know change has to come from the top and from the bottom. You know, I don’t believe that there is, you know that you can just do this through either grass roots or just top-down, you’ve gotta have, um I know it’s controversial, but I think you know, unless you have things like quotas, and unless you have things like um you know pathways for women led teams, then you don’t really have the capability to make the changes that we need – to be sustainable – you know, we’ve known for ages that women-led businesses do better they’re less likely to go bankrupt, they’re more likely to be profitable because of the fact that it just seems to be um to hold true, that when you have women in these companies, they do better. So what we need to do is change across-the-board.

Yeah look it’s really fascinating you actually see the um, there’s sort of this weird, this weird cognitive dissonance between the evidence which shows that’s true and the number of women led businesses that are getting funding right, so what it is, it’s very very low number of businesses that are women-led that are getting sufficient funding, particularly in the start-up sector. Um but we’re still, we’re showing quite clearly that, that the women led businesses that are coming up through the ranks in start-ups are those that are succeeding. So, and even in Australia if you look at the businesses that, the biggest businesses that we have here, they’re all run by women.

Um, you know, even when it comes to start-ups you’ve got companies like Canva, you know you’re looking at big businesses like Salesforce or ,you know Optus, any of these companies, they’re all run by women. Um, so we know that they’re capable and they’re profitable managers of business. So we do need to find new ways of allowing women, giving people the scope, to be able to work in these companies. But it is quite obvious, that this STEM education or this STEM careers are those that are going to have longevity. Where a number of traditional industries you know that women go into are beginning to dry up, those opportunities are drying up.

Laura McDonald |  05:44 – 05:56 Yup, yeah, um technology – right?, so that brings me to uh Disruptor’s, the fact that Disruptors Co this month is hosting Create to Collaborate, can you tell me what that’s about?

Joanne Jacobs |  05:57 – 07:33 So, we are very fortunate that we have been given a grant from the National Careers Institute program, to develop the kind of pathways for young women, particularly at Universities. And, every month from May through till September we’re going to be running 1 mini hack, a half day hackathon a career hack where young women will come together, about 40 or 50 young women, will come in any event yes, we’ve worked with some of these tech companies ah and create pathways for women whether they are women-led teams working on, on a business problem or whether they are just bringing more women into those organisations generally speaking, because they’re, most of these companies will be traditionally male-dominated, So what we’re trying to do, is to provide a way that women can work in those areas and in a way that they feel safe. Because the reality is that a lot of the women who do train in STEM ah, do find themselves feeling very uncomfortable, and don’t feel welcomed in some, some of the environments that are male-dominated, so this is really a way for young women to imagine their future careers working for these organisations. And, for the companies themselves to hear ideas from young women who want to be able to work with them and want to feel safe and want to feel that they are being valued.

Laura McDonald | 05:57 – 07:33 That’s such an important two way conversation – right?

Joanne Jacobs | 07:38 – 07:40 Yeah it id, totally is.

Laura McDonald | 07:41 – 07:49 Um and to find out, for more details on Create to Collaborate we can head to the Disruptors Co website?

Joanne Jacobs | 07:50 – 08:01 Yup, absolutely, and ah it’s C2 Create to Collaborate at c 2 dot the air dot works but you’ll be able to see it absolutely on the Disruptor’s Co site.

Laura McDonald | 8:02 – 08:06 Ok, thanks Jo for the chat today and good afternoon.

Joanne Jacobs | 8:07 – 08:08 Thanks Laura.

Laura McDonald | 8:09 – 08:26 That’s a wrap for this week. Remember to subscribe to the disruptors co email newsletter on our website at disruptors co dot com And please feel free to send any tips or innovation news to me by email to laura @ disruptors co dot com. That’s it from me, have an innovative afternoon.

Ending spoken by voice over | 8:27 – 08:45 (Music) You’ve been listening to the Disruptors Debrief, tune into more episodes at disruptors co dot com.

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