International Women’s Day: advice from Women in STEM

To celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March…

We’ve compiled a list of our favourites quotes, including career and life advice, from some of the Women in STEM we’ve profiled. If you’re in the mood for a motivational pick-me-up, treat yourself to these strong words of wisdom from even stronger women. Happy International Women’s Day!

Want more Women in STEM?

We have over 150 profiles of women working across STEM disciplines – we couldn’t fit them all in here! Head over to our Women in STEM page to read more from some amazing engineers, software developers, archaeologists and more!


“As a society we can do better for girls, making sure girls are proud to be a girl, making them believe they can do whatever they want if they put their minds to it.”

Ally Watson, Code Like A Girl

“I fail all the time! But my mom always told me that I should be proudest when I fail and get back up. When I was younger, I auditioned for ballet companies 25 times in a year… and was rejected 24 times! My life motto is; “Nothing is impossible. Possible just takes time”.”


“I am really passionate about seeing a more diverse workforce. It is the things that make us think differently that are our greatest strengths when we address the world’s biggest challenges. It is disheartening to see the decline in female engineering graduates in Australia in the past five years, but I’m optimistic that we can improve those statistics in the coming years!”

Samantha Cridland, NYSF Alumni & CSIRO Chemical Engineer

“Take advantage of every opportunity, the more things you try the more you can hone down the limitless possibilities.”


“Find a community, whether it’s a code class or digital technologies class at school, and look out for a mentor, it gives you someone to reach out to for support and guidance. People want to help, let them. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new!”

Aleisha Amohia, junior developer

“My advice is very simple – if you are interested in STEM, please pursue it! Set aside time to talk about your career goals and aspirations with others, and volunteer for opportunities even if they frighten you. These are the best ones!”


“It is difficult to perceive the opportunities you can’t see. That’s why it’s important that students visit industries and organisations where STEM opportunities exist.”


“Even if there aren’t enough female role models, you can be the role model.”


“Find something you value – for me it’s learning and leading – and then find that with every step you take.”

kristin alford future engineering careers
Amy_Heffernan_largesquare analytical chemistry entrepreneur


“Just go for it: know your value and develop your skills.”


“Because I’m so passionate and determined, my drive is helping me get ahead. Being at ANSTO, seeing lots of females in strong roles makes me think, I could be there one day too.”

Lillian Caruana ANSTO
Hannah Headshot (1) University of South Australia

“As I like to tell my two little sisters: don’t feel like you have to know anything for sure right now. You are constantly growing and evolving, and what makes you happy or engages you right now may change.”


“Many women from Saudi Arabia come to study with me. They are pioneers trying to make change in girls education by enhancing the ways girls use technology. I love working with these women in helping them to do that.”

Joanne Orlando research
MissAerospace aerospace engineer

“Earlier this year I received a message from a longtime follower about how seeing my website and seeing me as an Aerospace Engineer helped her follow through on her dreams to become one. That is all I had ever hoped for.”


“Remember, good is the gateway to great – nobody achieves perfection the first time they try something.”

parrys 3002 entrepreneur
jo 3002 entrepreneur

“Ask questions all the time, never stop. But do something with the answers.”


“Girls and young women need to ‘see’ themselves in tech careers. We need to expose them to role models in tech and women in STEM so they see tech as a place they belong and can thrive.”

Gumtree CTO entrepreneur
soccer robotics

“My advice to women wanting to be leaders in engineering is to connect with other women. Look for role models you can admire during the tougher times. Having support from others can make all the difference!”


“I’ve heard many young women say they want a career in medicine because they want to help people. The impact may be more indirect, but engineers absolutely help people just as much as doctors.”

aviation engineering
cyber attack

“When you first start out, be confident in your abilities. No one is an expert at first. Be prepared to fail as long as you learn as a result of it.”


“There is much work to be done so more women can study and pursue careers in STEM which are still heavily male dominated. Both structural changes and cultural changes are needed to address this gender inequality.”

Greens MP

“You really need to be your own advocate. You need to try different things, find out what you’re good at, and then let everyone know.”


“Being a woman in tech has never been a weakness – it’s been a major strength. It’s taught me to speak with humility and inclusiveness, to know first hand that diversity matters, that I stand on the shoulders of great women who came before me, and that y’all can stare at my stilettos through the glass ceiling.”

Business Consultant
research assistant

“You don’t have to be a typical straight-A student to do what you want to do”


“My advice: Do what you love – and do it well. Don’t know what you love? Try all the things! Don’t know how to do it well? Learn.”

Graduate software developer

“Global problems like pollution and disease can only be solved if experts in science and health work together. We need to encourage people, especially girls, to pursue science so that they can address these issues and benefit society.”


“My advice: Don’t let anyone get in the way of what you want to do, even if you’re the only girl. As long as you love it, you belong there.” 

product director
Eliza Brockwell

Author: Eliza Brockwell

Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.

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