Jillian showing women a future
WOMAN of Influence Jillian Kenny is a Burnett State College graduate who engineers creative futures for women.
Ms Kenny, a civil engineer who excites women in Years 9–10 with her Power of Engineering workshops (POW), was named a Young Leader in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards last week.
POW began after an “engineering could be creative” conversation with Felicity Briody, with whom she is now developing an interactive maths app.
“It’s more of a game like Grand Theft Auto meets math,” Ms Kenny said.
“We will start with the context – problems in fashion and sport – and teach how to solve them using maths, and, ‘Look! You’ve learned an equation’.
“When I was in Year 9, maths was very conceptual and I thought ‘When I am I ever going to use this’?”
“Now we’re civil engineers, we can see the relevance,” she said.
“The fact is that 75% of Australia’s fastest growing occupations require science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, yet the rate of tertiary completions in associated degrees continues to decline.
“We need to change the conversation about STEM to show that these fields are not just for certain types of people – they are an access for everyone to make a contribution to society.”
The 100 winners have been selected across 10 categories. For more information, visit www.100womenofinfluence.com.au.
AWARD: Woman of Influence Jillian Kenny shares her passion for maths and engineering with students.