The Actuaries Institute has appointed wealth management industry veteran and UniSuper board member, Nicolette Rubinsztein as its president for 2019, and she has set her sights on changing cultural attitudes towards women pursuing science and tech-related degrees.
Rubinsztein, who advocates for better employment opportunities for women, would be part of the 25 per cent of Actuaries Institute members who are female and, while it’s a pleasing number, she said, it’s a figure that perpetuates back through the pipeline to university graduates.
“The low take-up of advanced maths by girls at school can be attributed to a cultural gender stereotyping and lower confidence in maths, not biological differences in maths ability,” she said.
Rubinsztein said there was increasing evidence that cultural factors drive participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) studies, which was concerning given 75 per cent of future careers would require STEM skills.
The new president called on parents and teachers to encourage female students to study STEM subjects and, despite the issues facing the financial services this year, would do her part to showcase the roles of actuaries across the economy.