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(Other) Lessons from Primary School

YOW! CTO Summit 2017 Melbourne

It feels like every week there's a new report about the lack of diversity in tech companies or a new organisation working on how to make the industry more diverse.

A report from the University of Sydney shows the future of tech companies may face the same lack of talent and diverse talent as students studying Maths & Science in NSW HSC has declined. The number of students not taking any Maths or Science has increased - from 2.1% (male) and 5.4% (female) in 2001 to 5.9% (male) and 14.6% (female) in 2014.

Diversity brings different perspectives to teams. From our collective experiences we have observed that teams’ gender imbalances constrain them from being as great as they can be. Without balance and diversity, an organisation’s culture and problem solving abilities suffer and are less likely to build and deliver great outcomes.

So even though women make up more than 50% of our population, why are they are so under-represented in the technology industry?

Based on learnings from a local primary school, this talk aims to equip you with the ‘whys’ and ‘whats’ of this challenge and demonstrate how you and your organisation can work to address it. The content of the talk is based on a combination of research and real-life case studies aiming to provide you with take-aways to action as soon as you get back to your desk.

Talk Title Credit: Ben Ryan

Paula Burton (Ngov)




Paula's world revolves around connecting the dots between technology, ideas and smart people to help impactful solutions come to life. She is the Co-Founder of Flying Robot School where they encourage students at regional schools to give drone-flying a go, and workshop how technology can be used to enhance the communities that they live within.

Paula believes in bringing commercial and community groups together to create sustainable ways of  doing business to create shared value. She is a passionate amplifier of the gender diversity issue in tech and can often be found up on stage sharing her research, experience and stories.

Shennae Searle

Educational Researcher/ Teacher / Consultant

Exceptional Education


Doctorate research study 'Girls in STEM'

Master of Education Specilaising in Gifted Education (and 2E)

Post Graduate Mental Health for Teaching Professionals

Bachelor of Education (Primary / Secondary)


I'm a passionate educator, I love creating real world, relevant transferable life skills for my learners. I work with exceptional populations of learners including gifted students, Twice Exceptional students and minority populations. These 'hidden gems' will change the world, if only we would 'see' them for their incredibly abilities. 

"There are brilliant minds out there ready to change the world, if only we could see past the surface, and see the potential inside." Shennae Searle