Australia’s leading women in technology

James Riley
Editorial Director

  1. Digital Koolaid 9 months ago

    Hello James. Australia’s leading women in technology aren’t much from technology. I counted one (1) with an IT qualification, three (3) from engineering, four (4) others who have actual STEM educations and the rest with nothing related to technology at all. That’s eight (8) with potentially relevant tech credentials out of 35. Kate says STEM is important and her list does paint a pretty good picture of tech in this country. That picture shows that seventy-seven percent (77%) of “leading” women in tech don’t have a STEM education of any sort. Do you see a problem? I do.

    Kate Pounder – politics, international studies, English, zero technology
    Robyn Denholm – economics, commerce, zero technology
    Melanie Silva – economics, marketing, zero technology
    Katrina Troughton – physiology / pharmacology, marketing, economics – zero technology
    Christina Sass – philosophy, English, German, law, zero technology
    Laura Malcolm – physics (at least STEM) but zero technology
    Rianne Van Veldhuizen – marketing, communications, zero technology
    Melanie Perkins – arts, commerce, communications, psychology, ,marketing, zero technology
    Katherine McConnell – commerce, Japanese, finance, zero technology
    Shuo Wang – engineering (STEM)
    Mina Radhakrishnan – computer science YAY!
    Rebecca Burrows – marketing, political science, zero technology
    Cyan Ta’eed – visual communications, zero technology
    Melanie Cochrane – business, marketing, zero technology
    Kirstin Butcher- arts, French, Italian, zero technology
    Laura O’Reilly – law, history, zero technology
    Lisa Vincent – economics, psychology, zero technology
    Kelly Bayer Rosmarin – management, engineering (STEM)
    Kendra Banks – economics, maths, politics, zero technology
    Michelle Simmons, physics, chemistry (at least STEM) but zero technology
    Natasha Prevot – business, management, law, zero technology
    Vicki Brady – commerce, zero technology
    Sarah Liu, Founder – arts, zero technology
    Natasha Collins – business administration, zero technology
    Maree Isaacs – high school, zero technology
    Jo-Anne Ruhl – commerce, law, zero technology
    Katherine King – behavioural science, media, zero technology
    Pip Marlow – sales, marketing, Microsoft job but zero technology
    Cathy Foley – physics, (at least STEM) but zero technology
    Bronwyn Fox – chemistry, engineering (STEM)
    Tanya Monro – physics (at least STEM) but zero technology
    Sally Ann Williams – international relations, Japanese, zero technology
    Mikaela Jade – business, biology, land management, tourism, zero technology
    Corrie McLeod, arts, communications, media, marketing, thanks for InnovationAus Corrie but it’s not technology, is it?

    • James Riley 9 months ago

      Do you work in HR? Surely it is time to unmask yourself so that we can assess your qualifications! To suggest that Michelle Simmons has zero technology creds, even as she constructs a computational device out of silicon – at atomic scale – is a brave assertion. It is very funny. You have made my day. 🙂 As for the rest, all of these women are eminently qualified for the leadership roles they are in.

      • Digital Koolaid 9 months ago

        Many thanks James; we all admire Michelle for her achievements, which is not the point. Your article and Kate’s comments concerned STEM and “technology”. Does the S stand for Science, such as Physics and Chemistry? Is it distinct from the T, which stands for Technology? Michelle has a SteM education. She studied Physics and Chemistry of Materials (1985–1988) at Durham University (Trevelyan College). As a postgraduate at St Aidan’s College she was awarded a PhD on “The characterisation of CdTe-based epitaxial solar cell structures fabricated by MOVPE” in 1992 hxxps:// Durham is one of the leading physics and astronomy departments in the UK. It offers degrees in Physics, Physics plus Astronomy, and Theoretical Physics. Can you identify technology subjects in the following course structure:

        Year 1
        Foundations of Physics 1 with a practical laboratory module, including an introduction to programming.
        Two mathematics modules in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
        A module of choice, with Introduction to Astronomy proving to be very popular.
        Year 2
        Foundations of Physics 2A/2B
        Mathematical Methods in Physics
        Laboratory Skills and Electronics.
        Additional topics also include Theoretical Physics 2 (the transition from classical to quantum mechanics), Stars and Galaxies (an exploration of astrophysics), and Physics in Society.
        Year 3
        Physics 3A/3B
        Physics Problem-solving
        Planets and Cosmology
        Theoretical Physics 3
        Maths Workshop
        Physics into Schools
        Team Project
        Laboratory Project
        BSc Project
        A module taken in another department

        James, if LinkedIn isn’t a reliable source of information about people’s education there could be an important IA article there somewhere. All the rest was taken from the public record, as “funny” as that may be.

    • Tony Murphy 9 months ago

      Biology, maths and physiology/pharmacology aren’t STEM? Women with records of commercialising sophisticated science-based inventions are rated as ‘zero technology’? It’s not possible to learn something about STEM post-university?

    • Over the decades I have been in this industry I have worked with many men that do not have any formal education in tech, but that hasn’t seemed any barrier at all to their participation nor recognition of them and their achievements. As well, some of the assessments in this list are *way* off! Cathy Foley “zero technology”? Her technology contribution is stellar.

      • Digital Koolaid 9 months ago

        Cathy Foley – hxxps://

        Macquarie University
        BSc (Hons) Dip Ed PhD Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
        1976 – 1984
        Activities and Societies: Postgraduate Students Association Student Council

        Santa Sabina College, Strathfield
        Higher School Certificate Physical Sciences
        1970 – 1975

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