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The theme of International Women’s Day 2024 is ‘Invest in Women’. We speak to three AMSI females who are making waves in the mathematical sciences. This article spotlights AMSI Board Member, Monica Ly as she explores what this year’s theme means to her in relation to her career in the mathematical sciences.

This article is part of our International Women’s Day feature series. 



What is your current role in the mathematical sciences?

As a co-founder and consultant at EdgeRed, I lead transformational data analytics projects for some of Australia’s largest companies, utilising mathematical sciences to address complex business challenges and keep our clients ahead of the curve. Our team currently consists of over 40 skilled professionals, spanning data analysts, data scientists, data engineers, and consultants. We’re dedicated to nurturing their growth through training & development programs, empowering them to excel in the mathematical sciences domain.

Additionally, I am privileged to serve as a board member of AMSI, where I aim to contribute my industry expertise to advance their strategic goals.


Why do you believe it is important for gender equality to be a priority in the mathematical sciences industry? 

Diversity of thought and perspective is a vital ingredient for new ideas and innovation, particularly in complex fields like mathematical sciences. Gender equality fosters a range of approaches and solutions, driving progress and excellence in our field. Our team currently consists of 40% females and a 50/50 split in the leadership team, which is a fantastic representation in a male-dominated industry. 

Having more female leaders, especially Asian Women, serves as crucial role models and encourages broader representation in the workplace. By championing gender equality and diversity, we not only foster inclusivity but also forge a brighter, fairer future in the mathematical sciences sector.


What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about a career in STEM? 

To aspiring young women considering a career in STEM, I urge you to trust in your abilities and embrace the unique perspective you bring. STEM fields offer abundant opportunities in a strong and growing sector with increasing demand for diverse talent. 

Throughout my career, I’ve witnessed many talented women hesitate, waiting for opportunities to come to them. However, I’ve learned that seizing opportunities often requires initiative and stepping out of your comfort zone. Remember, you have the power to create your own path and shape your future in STEM.


What are your hopes for the future of gender equality in the workplace, particularly in the mathematical sciences industry?

I envision a future where gender equality in the workplace, especially in the mathematical sciences industry, is not merely a goal but an established norm. I aspire to see industries not only embrace the presence of women but also champions their advancement and leadership roles. 

My hope is for AMSI to play a pivotal role in fostering an environment where young females passionate about mathematics and science can see a promising and inclusive career path awaiting her in the field.


What are your concerns about the state of gender equality in the mathematical sciences and how do you believe AMSI can provide solutions to these matters?

I am deeply concerned about the declining interest in mathematics among Year 11 and 12 students, particularly among females. This, coupled with the gender pay gap highlighted in the recent WGEA report within the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services industry, presents a discouraging landscape for females entering the field.

This journey towards inclusivity begins early on, ensuring a diverse pool of students progresses seamlessly from high school to higher education and eventually into the workforce. As a society, we must communicate the right messaging so that students are aware of the opportunities available to them post-graduation.

I see AMSI playing a pivotal role in inspiring and supporting students, as it ultimately benefits the broader community. It is imperative for organisations within the industries to not only advocate for and inspire inclusion, but also to implement policies and practices that foster an inclusive culture where women in STEM can truly thrive.

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