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POWERful WOMEN Leadership and Career Development Program

The POWERful Women Leadership Program (PWLP) is a unique new power sector-oriented program that will develop the next generation of female leaders for the Australian power sector.

The PWLP will develop the leadership capabilities and skills of 70+ women in the power sector each year through strengthening their understanding of the strategic technical and market issues and leadership challenges associated with transforming the infrastructure and organisations in the sector.

The Powerful Women program has two streams each year - the Professional stream for ~25 experienced women in technically oriented roles in the power sector, and the Early Career stream for 50+ undergraduates and graduates.

Supported by the API's member organisations and the Australian Government's Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, over $300K+ will be invested each year in activities for the Powerful Women participants including part and full scholarships to support participation in the program, mentoring, networking, and career and technical leadership development activities.

This PWLP program builds on the highly regarded ‘API Summer School’: a 2- week residential technical leadership development program. Professional program participants participate in the full Summer School and extra activities, and Early Career stream participants have a separate program that links to the final days of the Summer School.

How to join the Powerful Women program?

If you are an experienced female professional in a technically oriented role in the power sector we encourage you to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Professional Stream in 2023; applications will open mid 2022.

If you are a female university student studying towards a career in the power industry or a graduate in the first FIVE years** of a technically oriented role we encourage you to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Early Career Stream in 2023 (2022 cohort applications closed on 3 December 2021); applications will open mid 2022.

Applicants who are accepted into the program will be invited to pay the registration* fees. Note 65 part and full scholarships are available for the program.

Registration costs are detailed in the flyer for each stream (2022 program version):

- Powerful Women Professional Program Flyer

- Powerful Women Early Career Program Flyer (Updated)

Registration* in the Powerful Women Professional program includes full registration to the API Summer School (including all accommodation and meals) and additional online Powerful Women program activities.

*Registration excludes travel costs. Costs include GST.

Discounts apply for staff from API member organisations in recognition of your organisation's other contributions to the operations of the API and Summer School.

** Note based on feedback from stakeholders we have expanded the eligibility criteria for the graduate applicants from 0-3 years to 0-5 years of professional experience as of 23 November 2021. 

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8 reasons to apply for the
Powerful Women program

Participation in the Powerful Women program will strengthen your capability to make impactful contributions in leading our sector and provide invaluable connections, information and inspiration to guide your career progression. 

  1. Attend the API Summer School + online Executive Insights sessions to boost your knowledge of the strategic technical and market challenges and opportunities involved in transforming Australia's power sector.

  2. Build connections with the other 50+ emerging leaders attending the Summer School and the 60+ speakers (industry experts and leaders).

  3. Take a leadership role in the Future of the Workforce forum at the API Summer School; 100+ participants will explore the key issues that will shape the development of the power sector workforce and the transformation of Australia’s energy systems.

  4. Participate in exclusive online workshops and mentoring that focus on the unique career and leadership pathways in the power sector to inspire your own journey and build your understanding and skills

  5. You’ll be supported to create a personal career development plan to sustain your journey to leadership roles in the power sector.

  6. Connect with the 50 undergraduate and graduate women also in the PW program, and an opportunity to be part of the POWERful WOMEN’s 3-day Early Career residential leadership retreat

  7. Opportunity to shape and feature in the API’s activities to engage and inspire female high school students about careers in the power sector.

  8. Contribute to the API’s national forum on Women in Power Engineering for International Women in Engineering Day.

Be a Mentor to these fantastic women


The API is seeking Senior Executives from our Member organisation to Mentor some of our women.  

You can contribute as a mentor in various ways but the main activity is to join our online mentoring community to be a 1-on-1 mentor. We use the online Mentorloop platform to enable direct connections between our mentors and our 82 mentees. You can then arrange to meet on your own terms during the year (in person, video conference, telephone – what ever works for you). You can connect with one person or with several depending on your availability. We also have live in-person and online activities happening through 2022 that you can contribute to – our program is flexible!

What time commitment am I making as a mentor?
The time commitment required will be over the next nine months, but actual time involved will depend on the goals set by the mentor and their mentee, and what the mentor and mentee want to get out of the mentoring relationship. It might be a 5 minute check in every 2-3 weeks or an hour session once a month, or something completely different. It’s up to you!

Download a flyer which provides more information.

Apply for a Powerful Women Scholarship





In addition to the investment in the delivery of the Powerful Women program, 65 scholarships are available thanks to support from the Australian Government's Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for 2022 to 2024.


The scholarships include:

- 4x full and 11x part** scholarships for the Professional Stream worth $8,800 - $16,640 inc GST.

- 5x full and 15x part** scholarships for graduates for the Early Career stream, worth $1,500 - $2,500.

- 30x full scholarships for undergraduate students for the Early Career stream. 


**Note a contribution from your employer is required for the remainder of the registration fee for the part scholarships 


Selection Criteria for scholarships:
1. Need: the scholarship program is designed primarily to support women who don’t have suitable access to financial support for this type of program, such as from an employer. How does this apply to you? (Eg University employer or SME that doesn’t have financial capacity, returning to work/part time, currently not linked to an employer etc) 


2. Motivation and Readiness: outline why you are ready for leadership and developing your career in the power sector


3. Impact potential: what impact do you believe this program will have on your career in male-dominated technical and leadership areas of the Australian the power sector (eg your participation in the workforce, employability and acquiring jobs and/or development as a leader in the power sector).


4. Eligibility: A woman on a career path to technically-oriented professional and para-professional leadership roles in the Australian electricity (power) sector, with aspirations of being a leader in your organisation and the sector, and with 4-15 years relevant experience OR an undergraduate student or new graduate in technically oriented roles in the power sector? You must also be able to participate in all aspects of the program including the API Summer School in Adelaide from May 2023* (refer to the flyer for each program for more details of dates; *dates to be confirmed). 

Scholarship application closing dates for 2023 cohort:
Applications for the Professional stream closed 31 July 2022.

Applications for the Early Career stream will close 31 July 2022. 
Applicants will be notified in September 2022 of the outcome of their application. 
Applicants who are not successful will be offered the opportunity to register for the program with full support from their employer (subject to availability of remaining spots in the Summer School).