21 June 2017
Students go above and beyond to further inclusion, cohesion, connection and belonging for people from underrepresented groups in IT.
DiversIT is a support network developed by students, for students. It aims to build and facilitate aculture of inclusion and diversity within the Faculty of IT at Monash. With the aim of enhancing the feeling of connection and belonging for the diverse community of students, diversIT is also looking to engage with the wider community to encourage participation by underrepresented groups.
“Different perspectives and open minds lead to great things, and I honestly hope others find the importance in diversity as much as we do.” This is the key message Sophia Huynh, diversIT Student Lead, wanted to resonate with readers.
Sophia goes on to share that it isn’t just a matter of addressing one challenge. Whilst there’s an emphasis on women in IT, the group want to extend their message to address other diversity concerns in the technical landscape in Australia. There isn’t just one way to effect change. We need to recognise what we have the capacity to do and act on all factors that we are not comfortable accepting. Whether this be demystifying tech to younger students, ensuring high school students know that there are people like them in the workforce, reiterating to tertiary students that it is okay to seek support, and that support will continue throughout their time at Monash, Sophia explains.
The diversIT group’s core focus is to be open, to support those most in need, to work to include everybody, and to encourage those who may or may not necessarily 'fit' into the commonly accepted mould of an IT graduate.
In their first year the group is looking to connect students with the Faculty, industry and each other through a student newsletter, an active online community and a number of targeted events. Sophia advised that they ‘hope to develop students’ confidence and leadership skills by providing resources they would not have access to otherwise, and encouraging more students to enter the IT field’. The first event connected students with Googlers from Sydney and recently students were able to attend a special Design Thinking workshop at IBM.
If you want to share your story with students, discuss how you can support the diversIT initiatives or just congratulate the team please email them at email@example.com