The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science is proud to announce the 2019 recipient of the Natasha Linard Scholarship, Elizabeth Cowling, in celebration of International Women's Day.
Liz Cowling is a fourth year Bachelor of Engineering student at ANU. She grew up on the NSW coast and originally completed a Bachelor in Graphic Design at the University of Canberra, and worked as a graphic designer for four years for companies including KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She currently works as intern AGIS, a professional services company contracted with the Department of Defence, applying system engineering techniques to technical projects. She is also a mentor to current executive team at ANU Fifty50, an organisation that promotes gender equity in STEM.
The scholarship committee wishes to acknowledge the exceptional pool of applicants and recognise the extraordinary talent of the cohort. International Women’s Day is an occasion to celebrate all women and recognise those with the courage and commitment to advance their disciplines. It is to that end that the committee was delighted to have such a strong response to the scholarship, established to support Women in Engineering.
Awarded on International Women’s Day, the scholarship honours the late Dr Natasha Linard, a member of the first undergraduate engineering intake at ANU. Dr Linard dedicated herself enthusiastically to mentoring young women, both as students and professional engineers. She was an inspiring role model and her contributions to the profession have been prominent and numerous.
Q&A with Scholarship Recipient, Elizabeth Cowling:
1. What are the challenges facing women in Engineering and Computer science today?
The biggest challenge I’ve identified is culture. Engineering and Computer Science is still very much a boys club and we can do a lot to work on building an inclusive culture. Things like inclusive language, identifying unconscious bias, avoiding assumptions and calling out exclusive behaviour are steps we can take as individuals at university, and at work to be more inclusive of our peers.
2. Why is it so important to support women in CECS through scholarships?
Scholarships are a great way to boost confidence and recognise hard work. The obvious addition of financial support is important for students no matter what gender. However, I think the importance of this scholarship in particular is that it recognises progress in addressing the challenges facing women in Engineering and Computer science and provides a platform to build on addressing those challenge
3. How will this scholarship help you achieve your academic and personal goals?
I feel very honoured to receive this scholarship and it will help me to achieve my goals by providing another layer of support to my role as mentor to the current executive team of Fifty50. I am part of a mentoring value chain in CECS and I hope that by receiving this scholarship I can leverage the support Keith Linard has offered, to continue to pay it forward. The financial support associated with this scholarship will also help me to focus on my final year, and I look forward to what the end of this year will bring for me as I transition from university into industry.
The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science acknowledges that gender equity is still a prominent issue in the field, and has taken the opportunity of International Women’s Day to reaffirm its strong position on gender diversity and equality, read more here.