Smash the glass ceiling with QUT – register for this event!

Be inspired by a panel of women in STEM who are smashing through the glass ceiling.

Keen to see more women in STEM? Welcome to the club! This National Science Week we’re smashing the glass ceiling with QUT

Women represent half of the population, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at your average STEM office. In technology fields for example, just 28 per cent of IT workers in Australia and 23 per cent in New Zealand are female, which is crazy considering that by 2023 there’s predicted to be 3.5 million job openings in cyber security alone.

Luckily, thanks to universities committed to bridging the gender gap like QUT, companies are hiring increasing numbers of diverse STEM grads, and the opportunities for growth are huge! 

Smash the glass ceiling with QUT

As a clever take on this year’s National Science Week theme – Glass: More than meets the eye – QUT is hosting a special Smashing the Glass Ceiling in STEM event featuring a women-only superstar panel. 

Join the Careers with STEM crew on campus or online to hear from female QUT grads, academics and students at various stages of their science, IT and mathematics careers. 

Find out what inspired them to study at uni, what challenges they’ve overcome in their career and what motivates them to keep exploring the unknown of their chosen fields. 


Meet our panelists

Claudia Vickers

Claudia Vickers
Claudia Vickers is Chief Scientific Officer at Eden Brew, an animal free dairy company.

Chief Scientific Officer, Eden Brew

Claudia is Chief Scientific Officer at Eden Brew, an animal free dairy company brewing dairy proteins using precision fermentation. She has over 25 years’ experience working in basic and applied R&D in academia, government research, and industry. She spearheaded development of the synthetic biology R&D community in Australia, including co-founding Synthetic Biology Australasia.

From 2017-2022, she was Director of CSIRO’s Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform, a $60M collaborative R&D program aimed at building national synbio R&D and industry. She co-chairs the World Economic Form Synthetic Biology GFC and sits on numerous national and international Scientific Advisory Boards (including FSANZ). Claudia has Adjunct Professorships at QUT and Griffith universities and has published over 80 scientific papers. She was recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a BOSS magazine True Leader in 2019.

Tamanna Monem

Tamanna Monem
Tamanna Monem is CEO of the SME Growth centre, focussed on growing the impact and scale of businesses.

CEO – SME Growth Centre

Tamanna is an award-winning, strategic, and future-focused executive. In her wide ranging career, she has worked across multiple sectors, leading and implementing projects contributing to business growth, innovative strategy for emerging industries, and global supply chain connectivity for local small-medium enterprises. She has created scale and innovation in businesses in defence, education, science, health and infrastructure, growing business’s footprints in national and international markets. Tamanna is passionate about an empowered, equal society and economic community and a strong advocate for women in business. She is the strategic advisor to Robotics Australia Group, Queensland Chair of Women in Business, Australia India Business Council, and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Julie Vercelloni

Dr Julie Vercelloni
Julie Vercelloni is a marine scientist with expertise in coral reef ecology and statistical modelling.

Marine scientist, QUT

Julie is a marine scientist with expertise in coral reef ecology and statistical modelling. She grew up in the south of France between the Mediterranean Sea and Provençal forests, but now calls Queensland home. Julie uses data science to research coral reef changes and better protect the Great Barrier Reef from climate change.

Julie currently works in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences on the ReefCloud project ( to help sea countries across the Pacific to better protect their coral reefs using AI and statistics. She loves her job as it helps that solve real-life environmental problems.

Kimberly Valenny

Kimberly Valenny studied a double degree in Information Technology and Creative Industries at QUT.

Graduate front end developer, Deloitte Digital

Kimberly Valenny’s motivation to study IT at uni came from looking around her classroom in high school. “In a class of 16 IT students, I was the only female,” she explains. “That made me even more determined to get it done and do it right!”

She ended up heading to QUT in Brisbane, where she studied a double degree in Information Technology and Creative Industries, with majors in Computer Science and Interaction Design.

Passionate about equality in tech, Kimberly was the president of the Women in Technology (WIT) student club, which welcomes anyone with a common aim to unite, inspire and empower women studying and pursuing all sorts of tech fields.

When it comes to tackling hurdles for women in tech, Kimberly believes it’s important to find your STEM tribe. “When you surround yourself with people who will support you and have been in your shoes before, you gain a feeling of confidence you wouldn’t have found anywhere else.”

Read her full profile here.

Kate Watson

Kate Watson
Kate Watson is in her final year of a STEM double degree at QUT.

Electrical engineering and environmental science student, QUT

Kate Watson is a final year QUT student studying a double degree in electrical engineering and environmental science. She was inspired to chose her course whilst in high school when she learnt about a state-wide blackout in South Australia which had been unfairly blamed on renewable energy. This sparked her interest in the power industry and its environmental issues and now four internships, an energy industry bursary and an international exchange program later, Kate is ready to graduate university and begin work as a power engineer.

Panel moderator: Jennifer MacLeod

Ass/Prof Jennifer MacLeod is Head of the School of Chemistry and Physics at QUT.

Head of School of Chemistry and Physics, QUT

Jennifer MacLeod is an Associate Professor and Head of School of Chemistry and Physics at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She holds a PhD in Physics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, and held research positions in Canada and Italy before joining QUT in 2015. She has held a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada postdoctoral fellowship as well as an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), and was recently named a fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Science. She is passionate about teaching and increasing diversity and inclusion in physics.

Smashing the Glass Ceiling in STEM is proudly co-hosted by QUT Faculty of Science and Refraction Media.



Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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