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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Somerville

Enhanced by Engineering – International Women in (POWER) Engineering Day

On Sunday, June 23rd, we celebrated International Women in Engineering Day, a significant occasion to honor and remember pioneering women in engineering history like Ada Lovelace, Mary Anderson, and Stephanie Kwolek who made groundbreaking contributions that shaped the world. 


It is crucial to show support for women currently working in engineering. They represent around 16% of engineering students in Australian universities, 14% of engineering graduates, and 13% of the engineering workforce in Australia. However, retaining women in the engineering field remains a challenge, with many leaving due to factors such as workplace culture, limited career growth opportunities, and work-life balance issues. 


Additionally, the representation of women in senior and leadership positions within engineering companies is notably low, with women accounting for only 5-10% of such roles. The statistics are even more discouraging in the power sector and power engineering fields, prompting the API to implement various initiatives to address this disparity. 


Showcasing the next generation role models:  


By building the profiles and making female engineers (and other females in the industry) more visible provides role models and mentors for younger generations, inspiring more girls and young women to pursue careers in the power sector. This can create a positive cycle of increasing female participation in these fields. 


Meet Nina Wang, an industry graduate involved of the 2024 POWERful Women who we profiled in February at the PWLP retreat. All 15 profiles will be released over the coming months, but watch this early release for International Women in Engineering Day. 





Power specific educational programs: 


Our STEM outreach programs (Electrify your Future, Power Ambassadors, Solar Buddy, Study Work Grow, UQ Women in Engineering) are aimed at encouraging young people to be passionate about electricity and power in a new light – understanding the many and varied career paths that make a difference in our industry. By partnering with other programs and universities we are broadening our reach to help increase female engagement. 


Breaking down developmental barriers: 


With our POWERful Women Leadership Program (PWLP), we are making sure professional and undergraduate women are getting an opportunity to develop their technical and leadership skills for the power sector workplace. This in turn improves the culture in many companies by creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for women in the profession. 


Mentorship and Networking: 


Through our POWERful Women Leadership Program (PWLP) we have increased access for our program participants into mentorship and professional networks for women in and entering the power sector to help address issues related to career progression and retention. 

Increasing the number of women in engineering is crucial for encouraging innovation, boosting economic growth, advancing gender equality, and creating inclusive, efficient solutions to intricate issues. Their participation enhances both the profession and society. 


Although there has been some improvement in women's representation in engineering in Australia, substantial efforts are still needed to bridge the gender disparity in our sector and beyond. It is essential for educational institutions, industry players, and government bodies to collaborate continuously to enhance gender diversity in the field of engineering, both in education and the workforce. 


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To celebrate International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) we invite you to join the participants in the API's Powerful Women Leadership program for discussions on leadership, managing career progression and the recommendations from the perspective of a woman in the power sector. Register your attendance for our June International Women in Engineering Day event. 



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