Meet one of BCE's leading women this IWD



With more than 70 per cent of men making up the IT workforce and over 80 per cent of senior roles held by men, Leigh Williams is on a mission to challenge the status quo.   

The Chief Information Officerat Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) is working hard to pave the way for women who want to pursue a career in IT.   
Leigh says by continually exposing female students to IT career options and encouraging them to participate in STEM activities at school, we can change the way they see themselves. 
“It’s really important both young girls and women have someone to look up to within the IT industry, and that they see themselves represented within an industry which interests them,” she says. 
Leigh says BCE runs an annual series of STEM events across its schools to help expose BCE students to the endless opportunities the IT space has on offer. 
“Last year we saw female students become the largest entrants in STEM MAD, a competition which combines both STEM learning with Catholic ethos, encouraging students to make a difference in their world,” she says.  
“What we know is that female students are very keen to make an impact within their communities, they are a rapidly growing group of movers and shakers of the world.  
“I want young girls to know they can do anything, and they can. 
“Last year an all-girl team from All Saints Parish Primary School Albany Creek won the national STEM Competition in Melbourne for their invention Airborne Ambulance, which proposes a way to deliver medicine and use video conferencing technology to aid those requiring urgent paramedic care.” 
Leigh added that increasing the number of females pursuing careers in IT requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both systemic and individual barriers.  
“By the time female students get to secondary school they are very aware of the gender gap within the IT industry,” says Leigh, who is also a volunteer mentor for Women in Technology, an organisation of women with a passion for science and technology supporting others to reach their potential.  
“It is my mission to continue to encourage and create opportunities for female students to pursue careers in IT, which will lead to greater gender equality, increased innovation, and a stronger more diverse workforce.”  
About Leigh Williams: 
Leigh is an experienced executive Leader and holds a current position of Chief Information Officer for Brisbane Catholic Education. Leigh’s career started in teaching, and since has held positions as CEO, Executive Director, Director, Assistant Director and COO. As a passionate, published researcher and advocator in digital technologies and education, Leigh has led keynotes and workshops around the world. She holds multiple post-graduate qualifications in Education, Leadership, Management, Business and has completed study with the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 


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