Say hello to the amazing gals that are Golden Diversity F1. I had the supreme pleasure of being asked to mentor the F1 team Golden Diversity from Queechy High as they prepare their bid to win at the F1 nationals competition. It's a competition where teams design and race a model F1 car, using the finest engineering they can muster. They are judged on not only their engineering and design, but their capacity to market their team, their brand, to tell their story. (Fact: they didn't ask me to help with the engineering and maths side of it!)
And what a story they have. It's so motivating for me to see a team that steps up and says - look at us, we are the contemporary face of Australian female high school students in STEM. These gals have realised that they have power in their passion, not just the power to compete and win, but the power to create a legacy of positive role modelling for other girls, and that role modelling starts with finding ways to get that story into the world.
The important subtlety of this is also that by choosing to have a voice each one is choosing not to stay silent or invisible, they are choosing their authentic selves over what they might be otherwise expected to say or do as teenage gals in Australia. Its a small step on a long path that could lead anywhere. This is true leadership - by standing up and saying 'I am'. I'm pretty sure Golden Diversity are going to be hot contenders in the Nationals. Whatever they achieve, it's perfect and enough, and the experience of running a team through a tight deadline of fundraising, engineering, performance and presentation will amplify their skills and their strength for the next big project.
Head over and LIKE their Facebook page, and if seeing this awesome posse makes you proud and excited about the future of gals in STEM, then reach out to them and help in whatever way you feel drawn to offer your hand. Wisdom, experience, kit or some kind of sponsorship - whatever it takes to keep this team energised supported on their journey. I can't wait to see their pedal get da medal!
Dr Polly McGee is an author, entrepreneur educator, digital strategist and urban yogi. Her writing and teaching is informed by a life of diverse experience: she has worked in kitchens, bars and restaurants from frantic to fancy, managed multimillion dollar innovation grants programs, worked with hundreds of start-ups to refine their business ideas and source funding.
A trusted communicator on digital strategy and small business, Polly has contributed to a range of business and digital publications for private enterprise and Government clients including Start-up Smart, presented ABC Northern Tasmania’s Drive Program, and created a suite of digital, audio and video content. As co-founder of Start-up Tasmania, she was voted one of the most influential people in Australian Start-ups. Polly is currently the Strategic Marketing Lead for global edtech company Prosper Education, and President of social enterprise Produce to the People. Her first novel, Dogs of India came out in 2015. Her second book The Good Hustle will be in bookshops and online Feb 2018