QLD company setting standards for diversity and inclusiveness

Queensland’s Unitywater is leading the charge for diversity and inclusiveness in engineering, drawing rave reviews for the environment they are able to provide for women.
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QLD company setting standards for diversity and inclusiveness

Queensland’s Unitywater was one the first in the Engineering industry to become endorsed by DCC Jobs in 2016, and have continued to impress the women-focused job site with their commitment to fostering gender diversity.

“During the criteria review with the Unitywater team, I was very impressed with how serious the organisation was about supporting diversity,” said Valeria Ignatieva, Co-CEO & Founder at DCC Jobs. “The list of both internal and community engagement initiatives is long, but the standout one for me would have to be Unitywater’s examples of flexibility.” 

 “Unitywater has taken the smart approach to building its strategies and policies for diversity and inclusion, by performing an external perception study and running internal focus groups,” continued Valeria. “The business has shown outstanding commitment across the main areas we look for when identifying best places to work for women; flexibility, women in leadership, equal pay and opportunities to grow through professional development.”

Shelbi Paterson (Project Engineer) and Angelique Van Walle (Graduate Engineer) are just two ‘Women of Unitywater’ members; a gender equality initiative of the water and sewerage services provider in South-East Queensland.

Shelbi was appointed Project Engineer in 2015, following her graduation from the University of the Sunshine Coast with an Honours degree in Civil Engineering (Construction). She has since completed Advanced Diplomas in Business and Leadership and Management.

Shelbi feels that female participation is encouraged at Unitywater.

“I have been continuously supported through my time in the industry,” Shelbi said.

“I love seeing new developments being built and innovations in construction.”

Shelbi was part of the Unitywater team that recently won the Australian ‘Project of the Year – New Installation’ award at the National Australasian Society for Trenchless Technology (ASTT) awards, for an emergency sewerage project that saw a 350-metre pipeline installed under the Noosa River.

“I’m excited to work for an organisation which is focused on all aspects of equality. My team is very supportive and I really couldn’t have picked a better organisation to work for.”

Angelique was delighted to join Unitywater’s Graduate Program in 2016.

“As a Graduate, I’ve had a range of opportunities within our organisation,” Angelique said.

“Engineering is challenging and ever-changing. These challenges motivate me and drive me to work hard and I love it!”

Angelique graduated from the University of Queensland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering with honours. She has so far completed rotations in several business areas including Treatment Plants and Infrastructure Planning and Development, and will join the Capital Delivery team early next year.

Unitywater Executive Manager People, Culture and Safety Kenan Hibberd said the organisation was committed to great diversity in its workforce.

“Women of Unitywater is part of our Diversity and Inclusion program and is designed to support female employees to build their careers and lift overall rates of female participation, particularly in areas that are under-represented like engineering, IT, and trade and field-based roles.

Engineers Australia has recently launched their Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.  Further information may be found at the Initiative web page, whilst the Action Plan may be viewed here.