WSTEM — Program Objectives

Balancing the Equation

Woman scientist at work in a lab.

The mentoring program is multifaceted: in addition to the provision of one-to-one mentoring (face-to-face and at a distance), the program will include mentoring training workshops for mentors and mentorees, forums with invited speakers (to be held on campus and recorded for online access), careers workshops and an online portal for engagement, resources and networking. A unique feature of this program is that opportunities for face-to-face mentoring will also be sought for those students who are not on campus.

Our Expression of Interest questionnaires (available under Further Links to the right of this page) will assist in matching mentors and mentorees according to individual needs, academic interests and location. Mentors will be a mix of current UNE academics, UNE alumni, professionals and school teachers.

The program will also involve senior secondary students through participation in the forums, thereby having a positive flow-on effect to female secondary students who may be contemplating studies and careers in STEM.

This inaugural year of the program is a pilot and if successful the program will run each year. Whilst we will have a new intake of first year students each year, previous years’ participants will have access to forums, online resources and the peer support networks that they will be encouraged to establish via the program. The program will connect and support rural and remote students and will create a (possibly international) network of academics, industry professionals, teachers and alumni to provide mentoring and support to UNE’s female STEM students.

Program objectives

The objectives of the program are to:

  1. Identify issues female students enrolled in STEM courses at UNE (on- and off-campus) perceive as possible hurdles to a successful progression through their studies in STEM courses and onto a career in STEM.
  2. Provide a mentoring program (face-to-face and online) that:
  • assists female students to understand and address issues identified as part of objective 1 above, and any other issues that they may not be aware of in the early stages of their study/career path
  • helps build the confidence of these students in pursuing a STEM career
  • supports these students to develop sound decision making skills in planning a career in STEM
  • preferentially targets rural and remote students.