Women in ICT ambassador, Dr Su-En Williams, has been recognised for her efforts in growing female participation in STEM subjects.

The Cyber Capability Manager at the Department of Defence was awarded the prestigious Leoni Warne Medal at the ACS Canberra Annual Conference earlier this month.

Alongside her official government role, Williams has dedicated herself to creating programs that promote the participation of women of all ages in STEM activities.

Williams founded the Girls’ Programming Network (GPN) in 2015. GPN is a program aimed with helping girls aged 8-18 years learn about programming and software development skills.

The program holds free, nation-wide workshops every three months to give young women a taste of a career in ICT.

“Su-En is passionate about encouraging women into ICT careers. She has gained support from and worked with teachers across the ACT to design opportunities to change the demographics and increase female participation in STEM,” said ACS Canberra Chair, Michael Hawkins, upon presenting the award.

“As part of her drive to see more women in all ICT positions, Su-En has also developed weekend workshops for women who want to learn ICT skills in a safe and welcoming environment. As a leader, Su-en always ensures that each participant is paired up with a more experienced mentor to assist and support their skills development,” he said.

The program partners with industry professionals, academics and government officials to bring tutors who inspire and support to the programs.

Run by girls for girls, Williams has grown participation from only a handful of girls in 2015, to more than 140 students and 45 tutors at their most recent event.

“Su-en is affirming, enthusiastic and passionate about increasing the number of women working in the ICT industry and we are proud to have her in our local community and to have her as a Leoni Warne Medal recipient.”

The Leonie Warne Medal is not presented by the ACS annually, but rather it is awarded to recognise exceptional leadership and dedication in promoting women in the ICT industry.

The prize is named after the late Dr Leonie Warne, who was a pioneer for women in the ICT industry, founding the ACS Women board. She was also the Deputy Director of ACS Women and the ACS Canberra Women in ICT Representative.