More than 30 local engineers and industry representatives recently gathered at Engineers Australia’s Tasmania office for the presentation of the 2019 Diversity Scholarships.
Engineers Australia General Manager Dr David Pointing said the scholarships have been sponsored by Bell Bay Aluminium, Caterpillar and Hydro Tasmania.
“International research shows that the more diversity in the workplace, the better the outcomes. Engineers Australia is focused on providing opportunities for young women to enter the profession,” Said Dr. Pointing
The scholarships aim to support young female students to embark on their engineering qualifications, and facilitate industry partnerships and work experience opportunities.
Bell Bay Aluminium’s Asset and Project Manager Trent Burke said at Bell Bay females make up 15% of the 460-strong workforce.
“We are working to increase that percentage year on year,” Mr Burke said. “We recognise the significant benefit to be gained by increasing the gender diversity of our workforce and attracting high quality female employees across a range of roles including engineering.
“Partnering with Engineering Australia to support this scholarship is one of a number of ways Bell Bay is committed to promoting gender diversity and supporting the next generation of women and future engineering professionals.”
Stella Brown, recipient of the Bell Bay Aluminium scholarship, credits her Physics teacher and university outreach programs for her decision to pursue an engineering career.
“There’s a lack of awareness around what engineering is, and a lack of female faces in engineering”, said Ms Brown.
“I hope to see the awareness of women in engineering increase as more women are given opportunities in the workforce, and younger women in the local community see these opportunities.”
Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said the business was proud to be a sponsor and congratulated the successful scholarship recipients.
“Engineers Australia is a strong advocate for change and the scholarships are one way we can show our support for young women who choose to make engineering their career,” Mr Davy said.
Hannah Price, recipient of one of the Hydro Tasmania Scholarships, was attracted to the engineering profession due to the ability to drive change through the application of sciences to real world problems.
“Engineering will give me a unique opportunity to make an impact on many areas of life, and I hope that in the future I can inspire others to follow their interests in the sciences”, said Ms Price.
The other Hydro Tasmania Scholarship was awarded to Emma Calvert, currently undertaking her first year of a Bachelor of Engineering. Ms Calvert hopes to use the scholarship to use industry experience to demonstrate the benefits of a diverse workforce to potential employers.
The Caterpillar Underground Mining scholarship was awarded to Meg Phillips, who has had an engineering career in her sight for years and lists environmental conservation and space as her key interests.
“In achieving what many women and girls may not consider realistic or attainable, I hope to prove quite the opposite”, said Ms Phillips.
“STEM subjects can be learnt by anybody, and contributing to STEM industries is very achievable.”
This is the second year Tasmanian students have been awarded Diversity Scholarships, with two students receiving scholarships in 2018.
If you know of a company, student group or non-profit group that deserves to be recognized for their contribution to encouraging gender diversity in the engineering profession, Engineers Australia encourages you to nominate them in the Gender Diversity Awards. Nominations are open until 12 July.