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Interested in analytics, technology and maths and looking to make your impact on the world? A career in Information Systems, Actuarial or Finance might be the perfect fit for you! These fields are notoriously male-dominated, but change is happening...and fast!
Tesla Director Robyn Denholm, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd and Canva Founder & CEO Melanie Perkins are just a few examples of exceptional women in tech who are reshaping society while pursuing their passion.
These women inspire others to respect their own talents, passion and skills enough to pioneer within male-dominated industries. For example, Jessica Chung is studying a Bachelor of Information Systems (IS) at UNSW Business School.
“I was interested in working with technology,” Jessica says. “Particularly as women are still largely underrepresented in the tech industry, I believe it’s important to be able to bring change.”
“I thought IS would be all programming but it’s more than that. I enjoy learning a wide variety of things, even things I wouldn’t have explored myself, such as UI/UX design, enterprise systems and mobile app development.”
As a high school student, Marie Echevarria had no idea what she wanted to study at university. When her brother’s friend told her that Actuarial Studies was an interesting application of maths, her life-long favourite subject, she investigated its potential.
“Actuarial Studies teaches you to think critically about data, analysing it to gain meaningful insights to solve problems,” Marie says. “I was surprised by how much I enjoy this. It drives me to take on more exciting challenges and not be disheartened by their difficulty.”
Marie says she wasn’t deterred by Actuarial being mostly unheard of - she gets confused looks when telling people what she studies. Marie was also undeterred by women being under-represented in the industry.
“There are so many opportunities available for girls in business, and lots of support from people who have been on the same path, and who know what it’s like to work hard to get where they dream to be,” she says.
“I have met many successful and influential women in the actuarial world who have inspired me to try my hardest, achieve my personal goals and become the best version of myself.”
Nicolette Rubinsztein is one such successful and influential woman. Before reaching her current position as a non-executive director for companies including UniSuper, Greenpeace, and Zurich; Nicolette held senior strategic, product and marketing roles in the wealth management industry.
“An actuarial qualification can provide you with an incredible foundation for your career,” Nicolette says. “You can choose a technical career path, or, like me, you can use it to build a broader business career.”
“Actuarial is an incredibly unique skill set. It is also a brilliant community. Actuaries are a small, exclusive group, known for their intellect and their integrity - and sometimes their nerdiness! I love how we use our skills as a force for good.”
Nicolette loves using her skills to make a difference in people’s lives. She helps people have dignity in retirement and provides insurance if they lose a loved one or have a health issue. She has a purposeful career and believes there are benefits to working in a male-dominated industry.
“As there are fewer women it helps differentiate you relative to others. I also believe that women, on average, bring different skills to the table. We are often valued for our team skills, our collaboration, risk management and emotional intelligence.”
Attributes like these are gaining recognition as being essential for a company’s success, especially with the increasing sophistication of AI. Smart organisations actively recruit and promote women for the competitive advantage of diverse experience and knowledge.
The Australian government’s Job Outlook website predicts strong or stable demand for high-level roles in the finance and tech industries in the coming years. Actuaries, Mathematicians and Statisticians, Finance Managers and Analysts, Information and Communication Technology Systems Analysts and Managers need a very high skill level and earn from $2000 to $2800 a week.
If this sounds interesting, you can start exploring the possibilities at UNSW Business School’s Girls in Business Camp. The camp focuses on math, tech and finance subjects and the careers they can lead to for women. The camp is free to attend and runs twice a year. Visit Girls in Business to find out more.