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Dr Jenine
Beekhuyzen OAM

Top advocate for diversity in STEM


Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen is a futurist who believes existing structures in the technology industry must change in order to serve tomorrow’s digital landscape, and that our children’s future job prospects depend on it.

Her focus is on leadership, innovation, and education to champion Australian tech entrepreneurship, and address the necessary rebalancing of gender roles within the traditionally male-dominated STEM space.

In 2020 Jenine was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her service to information technology, and to women.

Current Work

Jenine is a renowned advocate for technology innovation and diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) , Jenine draws on her unparalleled experience, encompassing over 18 years of internationally published research and university teaching promote her vision for Australia’s future in technology. This include changes that will prove critical in helping leaders break traditional approaches that currently hold us back. More importantly, she proposes practical solutions that can mobilise a new generation of leaders and innovators who are committed to solving real world problems with technology.

Jenine is the Founder and CEO of the Tech Girls Movement, dedicated to giving girls the opportunity to build their skills in the fields of STEM. Jenine has devoted more than 5 years to the Foundation, which has, to date, distributed over 80,000 free books to schools all over Australia and aims to engage over 10, 000 girls directly in STEM Entrepreneurship by 2020.

Jenine is a respected businesswoman and entrepreneur and has been CEO of her own technology consulting company, Adroit Research since 2007. Her expertise in the field was recognised in 2017 when she was the recipient of the prestigious Pearcey Award for Entrepreneur of the Year for Queensland.

Previous Experience

Author: Jenine is the internationally acclaimed author of Tech Girls are Superheroes Vol 1 & 2” (Volume 3 scheduled for release in 2019) , and Tech Girls Are Chic!

Accolades: Jenine’s unwavering commitment to advocacy has seen her awarded on the world stage as a Westpac/Fairfax 2016 100 Woman of Influence, the 2016 Griffith University Sciences Alumnus of the Year, 2016 Advance Queensland Digital Champion, 2014 Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA) Queensland ICT Woman of the Year, and 2014 Microsoft Community Educator of the Year. Exceptional Women of Excellence Award from the United Nations 2019

Talking Points

Change: The IT Skills Emergency

The shortfall of experienced staff in almost all areas of IT is now expected to be in the millions by 2020. Jenine Beekhuyzen is in a unique position to help understand and address this issue.

We need to investigate all aspects of this complex problem and tailor interventions and education based on hard evidence. For instance:

- How do we recruit STEM teachers and promote the best practice in schools?

- How do we attract more of the best and the brightest to IT education and work?

- Why is the failure and dropout rate so high in university IT degrees?

- How successful are alternative pathways for gaining education and experience in IT?

- How can we promote IT work more successfully and deal with the problems of burnout, career uncertainty and the lack of diversity and inclusion in IT workplaces?

Please speak with a consultant for details on this topic.

Leadership: Creating Social Change Through Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders

Creating a community of strong women to lead social change in their local communities. Based on her Doctorate and international research about offline and online communities, and a three year intervention program for school girls, Jenine discusses the key enablers for successful communities.

Innovation: The Ethics of Unconscious Bias in Technology Design

With the advent of driverless cars, virtual reality and new innovations designed every day for public use, we need to consider the impacts of bias built into systems from teams that lack diversity. This important discussion reveals serious examples of technology harming, not hurting consumers, with strategies to overcome these flaws in design.

Engagement: Digital Literacy and Gender Neutral Pedagogy in the Classroom

The research suggests that teachers employ different behaviours unconsciously when dealing with boys and girls in the classroom, and at least 60% of our year 9 students in Australia are barely digitally literate. Thus Jenine proposes inclusive and empowering strategies for enabling students to excel at STEM through a gender neutral curriculum and associated relevant teaching practices in the classroom.

The Economic and Social Imperative of Diversity

Discussing the positive economic impact that diversity has on a company’s bottom line, while providing useful strategies for achieving diversity. The research is clear that diversity improves company financial performance and reputation and cohesiveness.
Jenine has an incredible way of engaging an audience in her story. Her honesty, insightfulness and energy inspire a call to action to create equitable opportunities for girls of all ages to become innovators and entrepreneurs. She is the original Tech Girl Superhero. Digicon16 Conference Chair

I found your keynote so inspiring and it played a big part in bolstering my resolve to go for the ICT/STEM leadership role at my school this year. At heart I am most definitely a techgirl.

Tech Girls Movement - Audience Member

Jenine is a captivating speaker who engages her audience through her passion. Having dedicated her life’s work to supporting women and girls in STEM, her experiences and insights are invaluable.

Tech Girls Movement - Audience Member

Dr Jenine was a breath of fresh air- excitable, knowledgeable and fun! Our delegates loved her address and eclectic personality, which shone on stage.

Department of Education and Training - Far North Queensland Region
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