Thank you to the Herald Sun Weekend and the talented Kim Wilson (my fellow Herald-Sun journalism cadet way back in the day!) for today's feature on girledworld and what we're building for the next generation of girls.
It's been an incredible ride so far for me, alongside my amazingly awesome and inspirational Co-Founder Edwina Kolomanski, and we can't wait to bring you the 2017 girledworld Summit in a few short weeks!
Madeleine (& the Grummet gals) ✖️✖️
Published in the Herald Sun - June 10, 2017
Written by Kim Wilson
Madeleine Grummet didn’t need to look far beyond her own family to find inspiration to join a growing girl power movement in Melbourne. The 45-year-old mother of four daughters, Harriet, Olive, Audrey and Violet, is leading a growing wave of women passionate about inspiring the next generation into traditionally male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.
“My girls are where I start and end each day, so I look at them, the world around them and the appalling stats on female workforce participation globally and I am fuelled by passion to make this change,” she says.
Grummet began her working life in journalism and PR before starting her own digital marketing and events company seven years ago, all while raising her four daughters and moving 12 times over 10 years for husband Jeremy’s work.
“I’ve always been entrepreneurial and I suppose found a way to make my own jobs so I could fit work in between raising girls and moving around with Jeremy’s job.”
But it was two years ago she began to really question what the future held for her daughters and their generation of girls growing up in an increasingly fragmented and uncertain world.
“As a mother of four daughters, I felt compelled to do something about it, so I joined the University of Melbourne’s Master of Entrepreneurship to deep dive the data and find a way to create a positive intervention and build a purpose-driven business that would start to turn this around for girls,” she says.
“The world that awaits them has a force field of cultural, institutional and organisational gender barriers that will close many doors before my girls can step through them and test their worth.”
The GirlWorld summit aims to open possibilities for girls.
Grummet co-founded GirledWorld with fellow Master of Entrepreneurship alumni Edwina Kolomanski with a mission to inspire, empower, educate and activate girls.
“Girls can’t be what they can’t see. With innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity and female leadership firmly on the agenda right now, we think it’s time to build the future for girls from the bottom up.”
That begins with the inaugural two-day interactive GirledWorld summit for secondary school-age girls at Melbourne University on June 24.
Grummet says it is the first event of its kind and will expose hundreds of girls to skill-building leadership workshops, powerful stories of start-up success and career advice from local and international female leaders and founders.
“We’re targeting secondary school-aged girls because they are at a critical life stage where they start to select subjects and self-identities that shape their future careers choices and pathways.
“If we can really ignite those conversations, give girls access to amazing, accessible female mentors and experiences, and start to challenge them and shape their thinking differently
about what’s possible for them, this could be transformative.”
Speakers include global leaders and homegrown start-up founders from Airbnb, IBM, StartupVic, Frank Body, LaunchVic, Atlassian, Girl Geek Academy, The Hacker Exchange, TOM Organic, AirWallex and Melbourne Accelerator Program.
The GirledWorld summit aims to open possibilities for girls.
According to an Australian Government National Innovation and Science Agenda Report, only one in four IT graduates and fewer than one in 10 engineering graduates is a woman. Women occupy fewer than one in five senior researcher positions in Australian universities and research institutes, and about one quarter of the STEM workforce overall.
“We clearly need a concerted, national effort to overcome the cultural, institutional and organisational factors that discourage girls and women from studying STEM and that limit their opportunities to pursue careers in STEM and entrepreneurship,” Grummet says.
“This is stuff that schools can’t teach, partly because the schools can only do so much in
a crowded curriculum. I also think there are some entrenched biases and systematic failures in our education, political and economic systems that are discouraging girls from entering STEM fields.
“Cultivating, educating and inspiring an interest in STEM at the year 9-12 year levels will help increase the number of girls taking up STEM subjects in higher education and in their future careers, give girls real experiences and understandings of STEM possibilities and workplaces, and will ultimately work to close the gender gap down the line.”
While she has a broad vision for the reach of this Australia-first girl power initiative, Grummet’s greatest hope is that the message resonates with her own daughters.
“I have always lived by the ‘do as I do, not as I say’ motto. Role modelling is so powerful. We need to show girls the way,” she says.
“I hope it shakes up their thinking, makes them challenge status quo, and start to open out what they think is possible for them in their future careers. My job is to give them as broad a range of experiences, role models and opportunities as I can. From there they will each carve their own paths.”