Peoplebank Australia Scholarship: Meet our Recipients

Gender Imbalance in Digital & IT Industries

IT Brief calculated that women account for approximately 29% of the IT workforce in 2022. While at Peoplebank we have clients looking to improve their gender balance in the IT and Digital sector, female talent can be hard to find – so the question becomes, how can we change this and make our industry more accessible?

For Peoplebank, an employer in the IT and Digital space, it has been a continuous journey to support removing barriers that deter women from entering our industry, and the Peoplebank Australia Scholarship is one step we’ve made on this journey.

Peoplebank Australia Scholarship with Monash University

In 2022, we continued to provide financial support to two women as they worked to achieve their educational aspirations at Monash University. We established the Peoplebank Australia scholarships with Monash University to assist women facing socio-economic challenges pursue their educational and career ambitions and to address the gender imbalance in the IT and Digital industry.

Peoplebank made the decision to offer these scholarships for multiple reasons, it aligns to our company’s purpose “Opportunities for Life”, our Diversity and Inclusion priorities, our values and our diverse company culture.

Today, we want to share more about the women whose lives this scholarship is making a difference for.

Maria Krikeli - Bachelor of Science & Bachelor of Computer Science

Maria was our 2022 recipient of the Peoplebank Australia Scholarship. Maria’s passion for STEM (particularly Astronomy), her thirst for knowledge, and her unrelenting drive to overcome social and economic drive to achieve her career and educational aspirations made her a standout candidate.

Maria commented that this scholarship has motivated her to actively engage peers and her studies at Monash University as well as providing her with invaluable financial security as she progresses through both her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science Degrees.

“Thank you for your generous scholarship because through it I will be able to overcome socio-economic barriers and accomplish my long-term goal to pursue a career in STEM.”

We hope the Peoplebank Australia Scholarship will support Maria as she fights to achieve her study goals, empowering her to undertake a career in STEM.

After completing her first year, Maria will be re-commencing her studies in early 2023 with an aim to graduate with two bachelor’s degrees in 2024. Maria’s ultimate goal is to pursue a career in STEM where she can use supercomputers and work with computer models of black holes and galaxy clusters to find the origins of space and time in our universe.

Tameka Lougoon - Bachelor of Design & Bachelor of Information Technology

Tameka continued on with her studies from 2021, this year she is completing Collaborative Design Studio, Sociologies of Design and Systems Development. Over 2022, Tameka utilised the financial aid of the Peoplebank Australia Scholarship to prioritise her studies and personal development.

The purpose of the Peoplebank Australia scholarship is to remove barriers to entry for women in Digital and IT industries. For Tameka, it offered her the freedom to take time for herself without any misplaced guilt. She was able to invest time into a rural network development project and an IT project, where she created industry connections and expanded her skill set. The opportunity to explore the industry and professional environments she hopes to one day find herself in was something she wouldn’t have been able to do without the financial support of the Peoplebank Australia Scholarship.

“I'd like to thank you for not only providing monetary support through this scholarship but also showing your faith and belief in us that we can achieve great things, regardless of our past.”

​Tameka commented that feeling better mentally and having the time to expand her pool of knowledge has motivated her to take on new challenges, such as learning a new language and participate in campus events. It also provided her with time to participate in volunteer work for YouThrive Victoria so that she could give back to the community and rural youth.

​The testimonies of Tameka and Maria highlight the insurmountable value the Peoplebank Australia Scholarship offers these women. We are proud to contribute to the continual growth, advancement and evolution of our industry to make a more inclusive and diverse workplace for all Australians.