You can’t be what you can’t see.
That’s the philosophy of Meera Shanaaz Aneez, AGL’s Senior Manager, Platform Architect in Future Business and Technology.
Meera has worked in technology for 20 years, and she’s passionate about encouraging young women to enter careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
‘There’s a misconception around science and technology that it’s difficult and not fun– but it’s probably the coolest thing you can do,’ says Meera.
’Everything we talk and do is science and technology. It’s what you’re building; it’s what you’re doing.
’If you want to make a difference in the world and change something, there’s a way to do that through science and technology.’
After completing a bachelor’s degree in maths and computer science, Meera found work as a developer. She says while the number of women in coding has increased since then, it’s still low – too low.
Recent statistics suggest fewer than one in five Australians studying IT or engineering degrees are female, and our current tech workforce is 75% male.
’It’s never fun to be the only woman in the room. Once you’ve normalised having women in the room, the bias can be dispelled,’ says Meera.
’Everyone should be educated in maths and science in some shape or form.
‘Maths and science, to me, are a way of thinking and not just a course that you take. They help you to think better, more rationally and objectively – not just in your profession, but in making important decisions in life.’
Meera’s well-placed to help make a difference. Since starting with AGL in 2017, she has designed software systems for projects including AGL’s first voice implementation with Amazon’s Alexa smart home system, the Virtual Power Plant, and more.
‘AGL has a great focus on getting women to the top,’ she said. ‘There’s a conscious effort to make it inclusive and diverse.’
Meera’s story is featured in this month’s edition of the Australian Women’s Weekly as part of the 2019 Women of the Future awards. To learn more about how Meera is supporting young women to get involved in STEM careers, pick up a copy of the October 2019 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly.