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40 Under 40

Leading the way for women in science and the corporate world

40 Under 40

The KPMG account manager for SA Government and Energy and Natural Resources is leading an effort to change the game for women wanting a fulfilling career in science.

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Dr Stephanie Lamont-Friedrich has a Double Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Science and Business and Technology, an Honour’s Degree in Bio- and Nanomaterials and a PhD in Biomaterials, Engineering and Nanomedicine from the University of South Australia (UniSA) where she now holds an Adjunct position.

Throughout her academic career, she accomplished some exciting achievements that include successfully developing a novel anti-fungal surface coating through plasma polymerisation, being awarded a full APA scholarship with her PhD offer, as well as founding UniSA’s first Women in STEM club and organising its first International Women’s Day event.

After her PhD, Lamont-Friedrich secured a graduate position at Deloitte which kick-started her transition to the corporate world.

But Lamont-Friedrich spent her first year in corporate scared about the mistake she might have made moving out of academia.

“A common misconception is that a post-graduate degree is continued study and is therefore not recognised as work experience,” Lamont-Friedrich said.

“I committed 10 years to research and found myself in a graduate role, ‘at the bottom’ of the corporate ladder.

“But I had to trust myself – I might not have known where I was meant to be, but I knew where I wasn’t, and traditional academia was not for me.”

Her work at KPMG promoting the role of women in STEMM won her the Game Changer Award presented by the Adelaide Business School.

Lamont-Friedrich now uses her corporate experience to help other women make the leap between the two worlds as well as to promote STEMM to female students.

“I want to ensure we create systemic change for future generations, creating environments that support women throughout all stages of life,” she said.

Lamont-Friedrich said these opportunities need to further their education, to secure career opportunities with stability, higher salaries, parental leave, and competitive superannuation, all of which will help provide women with independence and freedom of choice.

“It’s not always about knowing what you want to do, sometimes knowing what you don’t want to do is just as important,” Lamont-Friedrich said was the best piece of advice she was ever given.

Lamont-Friedrich now joins the 200 alumni of South Australia’s 40 Under 40, a leadership network that is gaining influence across the state.

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