When 9 year old Malia Knox began thinking about her future career, she looked for role models to inspire her. She was surprised to find that there was a lack of women in STEM leadership roles and very few statues celebrating the achievements of women in her hometown of Brisbane.
Deciding to correct the situation, Malia started a crowdfunding campaign, #FemaleFaces4PublicPlaces. Her goal was to celebrate female role models in STEM (science, technology, education and mathematics) by raising money for a statue of Dr Abigail Allwood to be placed at the Brisbane Planetarium.
SOCO are making BIG ideas real
Malia and her mum, Kelly, visited SOCO’s Brisbane office to meet the staff and say thank you for the support. We were lucky to receive an exclusive preview of the statue design and a framed picture of the statue concept.
SOCO has approximately 30% female staff, well above the industry standard. We are also the first Australian technology company to have an all-female Business Central team.
What a tremendous way to encourage meaningful change within the IT industry. We are excited about supporting Malia and celebrating positive female role models across all areas of STEM. At SOCO, we recognise the continued challenge to achieve gender balance in the workplace. We are striving to address this by seeking out, encouraging and supporting talented women in IT in Australia.
– Sebastian Rizzo, SOCO CEO
Malia hopes that the statue will inspire young women for generations to come.
Malia’s role model, Dr Abigail Allwood, grew up in Brisbane and is a world leading geologist and NASA astrobiologist. Dr Allwood is the first female, and the first Australian, principal investigator on a NASA Mars mission.
On a visit to the Brisbane Planetarium as a child, Dr Allwood was inspired by the images captured from the Voyager space craft by American scientist, Carolyn Porco. Young Abigail decided that she wanted to be like Carolyn and explore space. The rest is history.
Exciting update: April 2022
Malia’s GoFundMe page was the first stage of fundraising and SOCO donated part of the funds required to make the statue a reality. In April 2022, Attorney-General and Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman, announced that the statue will be a reality with the remaining funding provided by the Palaszczuk Government to Women in Technology (WiT) for the project.
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SOCO make big ideas real, with incredible people and deliver meaningful change. Visit our SOCO Careers page to find out more.
Malia’s story resonated with the SOCO family. We are amazed by the leadership and drive Malia has shown.
– Tom Rock, SOCO Executive Director, Strategy