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Nevenka Ilicic has been awarded the IGNITED – Initiative for a Girls’ Network in Information Technology & Engineering @ Deakin – scholarship at the annual Faculty of Science and Technology Student Excellence Awards at Deakin University’s Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds on Thursday 1st May.
Nevenka was awarded the scholarship after achieving an ENTER of 86.8 in her final year at Clonard College in Geelong West. She is studying a double degree, Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University. She receives a $10,000 scholarship and academic mentoring.
Whilst Nevenka is only in her first year of studies, she is looking to combine all her skills in her future career:
“I have been to a few presentations about management and this is an area I am interested in working in. I would like to have a role in management in the field of engineering. I’m not sure if there are many girls in these roles, but this is something I am interested in,” she said.
The program aims to redress an imbalance in the number of males and females in the industries. In Australia, women currently account for less than 25% of IT graduates and less than 15% of engineering graduates. Through the IGNITED program, Deakin aims to attract more top women students to these courses.
Engineering and IT Head of School Professor Kate Smith-Miles said the industries are facing a serious shortage of women.
“It is really critical that we encourage more high achieving female students to consider Engineering and IT degrees. Women represent 50% of the population, and given the growing skills shortages in these industries, we cannot continue to have women so under-represented in the workforce,’’ says Professor Smith-Miles.
“The interesting thing is that when women do embark on careers in engineering and IT, they are usually very successful, working their way into management roles very quickly. This is possibly due to the extra non-technical skills that women are often very good at, such as communication, team work, relationship building, project management,” she said.