The Year 12 students who are conquering male-dominated careers before they even graduate.

Video by Mamamia

There’s no doubt women are immensely capable.

So, then why is it that today only 4.5 per cent of Australia’s ASX200 CEOs are women? And in fields like STEM and tech, women still remain severely underrepresented?

Of course, there are many complex factors that come into play here, but at ChangemakeHer we think a lot of it comes down to how girls’ perceptions are shaped from a young age.

We believe that a girl’s foundational years during school, and the types of people she is surrounded with, are immensely impactful in shaping what career pathways she can see herself following.

Speaking of gender stereotypes, Andrew Daddo and Holly Wainwright unpack calling girls “beautiful”. (Post continues after audio.)

With the founders of Changemakeher all being in Year 12 and close to completing high school, we’ve experienced the discouraging feeling ourselves and seen it happen firsthand to countless girls. Through silent and often unnoticeable events and comments, young girls perceptions are subconsciously influenced.

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So that’s exactly what we’re aiming to change at ChangemakeHer.

Who are we?

Founded and run by a group of Year 12 young women from across Queensland schools, ChangemakeHers are united by a common passion to empower girls to become the change makers of the future. The aim of our organisation is to inspire and encourage young girls to pursue primarily male-dominated careers, develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and connect with like-minded youth.

In short, we’re incredibly passionate about empowering the next generation of female ChangemakeHers by creating a community and showing girls what they can achieve!

female high school groups

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The whole movement was originally founded in 2014 by a New Zealand high school student, named Alexia Hilbertidou and because of how important we think the message is and how much of a positive response it received (there are currently over 8000 girls across NZ who have signed up!), we felt incredibly inspired. Now, we are working closely with the GirlBoss founder to expand the movement ourselves in Australia!

Our goal to kickstart the movement is to hold a cross-school inaugural EmpowHer conference with a group of like-minded girls and we have already formed partnerships with many high schools who are also passionate about the message and eager to partake. Our plan is to host various women speakers that are leaders in their field, and hold a guest panel and breakaway workshops as part of the conference day.

How can you help?

ChangemakeHer is always looking for people to partner with to help spread our movement and maximise its impact.

If you’re an older ChangemakeHer working in a field where women are underrepresented, we’d love to INTERVIEW you about your story and any advice you may have as part of our Career Stories Series! One of the biggest issues we’ve found that stops young girls from pursuing traditionally male-dominated fields is simply a lack of representation, so these interviews are aimed to inspire young girls about what they can become!

Scroll through to see some incredible women taking on male-dominated fields. (Post continues after gallery.)

For those that are looking to become even more involved with the movement, we’re looking for mentors and speakers at our conferences to help out and share their stories with young girls. You can join our support network here.

If you know a young girl that you think would be interested in what we are doing, please share our message with them and encourage them to sign up to our community! We’re looking for girls to help start their own Changemakeher clubs at their schools across Australia.

We’re always looking for brands/ladies to sponsor us or run workshops, so we can bring the conference to life and make it the best and most impactful it can be. This could involve giving a financial donation, or donating supplies/products/teachers from your business we can use!

The ChangemakeHer group from Brisbane. Image supplied.

And of course, just spreading the word goes so far too. Our newly set-up Facebook page is here if you’d like to support and follow along with everything we do.

Please visit changemakeher.com or email us directly at [email protected] if you’re interested in learning more!

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