Celebrating International Women’s Day with our top five women in STEM

We’re proud to have profiled hundreds of women in STEM combining STEM with their ‘X’ – their passion, interest or another field.

This International Women’s Day (and every day!), we’re celebrating women in STEM, their game changing achievements, and the incredible influence and impact they’ve had in the fields of science, tech, engineering and maths.

In this video, we’ve rounded up our top five most viewed women in STEM profiles of all time!

Below, find more details about them and links to their full profiles.

1. Vanessa Pirotta, marine biologist

It took Vanessa a science degree, a Master’s degree, and a part-time job at a zoo to study marine biology and realise her dream of working with marine animals.

Her research uses innovative technologies for wildlife conservation, but she’s also studied whale snot, spoken as marine mammal expert at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation in Rome, Italy, and presented her research on TEDx.

Find out more about her STEM study and career journey, here.

2. Lily Serna, data analyst

Lily is a data analyst at Atlassian turned TV presenter for SBS’ Celebrity Letters and Numbers. She’s pushing the boundaries of where maths careers can take you and she’s passionate about spreading the word on how useful the ‘M’ in STEM really is.

“Understanding maths is like having a toolkit: at Australian software giant Atlassian, if someone comes to me with a problem, I can pull out the right tool at the right time to find the solution,” Lily says.

Check out her cool CV and pathway here.

3. Kirsten Banks, astrophysicist and science communicator

Kirsten brings Aboriginal astronomy, Indigenous and Western science to the masses as an astrophysicist and science communicator. She’s appeared on NITV The Point, Q&A, and even at TEDxYouth.

“My favourite part about what I do is seeing someone’s face light up when the lightbulb flicks on, their eyes widen, and they have that ‘ah-ha’ moment,” she says.

Read about Kirsten’s STEM studies and passion for Aboriginal astronomy here.

4. Angelina Arora, bio-plastic inventor

Angelina has invented not one but TWO types of biodegradable plastic! Her innovations won her first prize in Chemistry at the NSW Young Scientist Awards in 2016, and even caught the attention of her future mentors at CSIRO. She was also named Young Conservationist of the Year in 2019.

Angelina now uses her influence to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM and other male-dominated industries.

Get across her amazing inventions and plans for the future here.

5. Maddison Miller, Indigenous archaeologist

Through archaeology, Maddison found that she’s able to connect Aboriginal archaeology to the landscape and truly understand how people have lived. She’s even used her archaeology knowledge to help an Indigenous town planner to create blueprints for sustainable cities.

On getting into STEM, Maddison says, “I encourage everybody to get involved and to go and try different things, especially when things may sound a bit scary.”

Her full profile, including her study path, can be found here.

Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women's Day - women in STEM

Feeling inspired this International Women’s Day? Visit our Women in STEM hub to read hundreds more profiles. There are ecologists and economists, satellite engineers and software developers… And every STEM career in between!

Louise Meers

Author: Louise Meers

Louise is Careers with STEM’s digital content strategist. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.


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