ANU engineering PhD student Francesca Maclean has been awarded 2017 Young ACT Woman of the Year for her work in promoting gender equity in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields at ANU.
The award was announced as part of celebrations for International Women’s Day, and was one of three ACT Women’s Awards presented by the ACT Minister for Women, Yvette Berry, MLA. The Awards recognise the achievements of women who have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of women and girls in the Canberra community. Whilst studying at ANU, Francesca founded Fifty50 with fellow student Emily Campbell. Fifty50 is a student-run volunteer organisation that aims to develop an equitable and inclusive study and work environment for everyone, in particular, females. Francesca has played a vital role in leading the group to run mentoring programs, workshops and public events, as well as mentoring many undergraduate female students herself. She is surprised and delighted to have received the award. “It was a really big surprise! It’s great to know that the wider community value the work we’re doing to promote gender equity with Fifty50, and fostering a more inclusive STEM culture generally.”