Five year fives shaping the future

Five year fives shaping the future
L-R Maddy H, Nikita, Katie, Madeleine F and Nia interviewing Dr Hadwen and Chris Sutherland.

What started as a website enquiry turned into something pretty special upon receiving a request to interview Chris Sutherland for a school project by year five student Maddy and her fellow classmates from Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC).

Ten-year-olds Maddy, Nikita, Katie, Madeline and Nia had submitted a form via requesting to interview Programmed’s managing director, Chris Sutherland to discuss the issues surrounding gender equality in the workforce.

Chris, who is passionate about the issue and also chairs the WA based CEO’s for Gender Equity group was delighted at the opportunity and set up a time to meet with the girls and their school principal in mid-November.

Joking that the panel of year fives could be tougher to face than investors, Chris went in equipped to help the girls with their school project.

“Through my work with the CEOs for Gender Equity I know that PLC principal, Dr Kate Hadwin has shaped the curriculum and culture around her students achieving their full potential no matter what the subject or potential career,” said Chris.

“I have spoken at many events about the issues surrounding this matter but was interested to hear the perspectives of year five students, and why it was important to them.

“I firmly believe that students, particular young girls from year five onwards are greatly influenced by their parents, peers and society which does steer girls to more traditional roles. I think it is important to push the message that they can be an electrician or an engineer, even if that career path is currently dominated by men. We need to support more girls choosing maths and science and moving to careers in the trades, engineering and technology areas."

Maddy, Nikita, Katie, Madeline and Nia were very professional carrying out their interview and even recorded the set up so they could go back and reference Chris in their project.

Chris was asked what he thought about gender inequality, the reason why women are being payed on average less than men in the workforce and how society can work together to end gender inequality.

The project was completed in late-November and displayed at the ‘PLC Year Five Exhibition’ where friends and family could see what students had been working on during the term.