ChangemakeHer – school girls making a difference

This is a guest blog from a group of very passionate young women in Year 12. They are helping girls everywhere see that girls and women are powerful.

WHY WE EXIST

There’s no doubt women are immensely capable.

So then why is it that today only 4.5% 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 (changemakeher.com) 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.

With the founders of Changemakeher all being in grade 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.

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

WHO WE ARE

Founded and run by a group of Grade 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!

The whole movement was originally founded in 2014 by a New Zealand high school student, named Alexia Hilbertidou (more info: girlboss.nz) 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 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 PEOPLE CAN GET INVOLVED

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!
  • 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. (link to join support network: https://goo.gl/forms/6CsJCE84p7qgfGeI2)
  • 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. (link to join: https://www.changemakeher.com/join)
  • We’re always looking for brands/women 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!
  • And of course, just spreading the word goes so far too. Our Facebook page is here if you’d like to support and follow along with everything we do: https://www.facebook.com/Changemakeher-Australia-735058886699563/
  • Please visit changemakeher.com or email us directly at team@changemakeher.com if you’re interested in learning more!