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EWB Australia recently took part in the third Women in Engineering and IT Symposium hosted by UTS and UNSW, a two day initiative that brings together universities across Australia who are working towards increasing the participation of women in STEM degrees, particularly engineering and IT. The purpose of this event is to address the diversity problem as a collective network, through collaborative initiatives and actions.

This year, the invitation was extended to industry and school educators, recognising that in order to attract and retain female engineers in the progression, the whole education and career journey needs to be examined.

EWB was invited to provide insights from our work in school and university education programs, and to share reflections on how EWB is able to sustain such strong diversity within our volunteer network. This was recently recognised by Engineers Australia at their 2019 Gender Diversity Awards. EWB is keenly invested in ensuring the engineering profession represents the communities it serves and is well positioned to nurture diversity of thought, ideas and solutions in order to contribute effectively to the challenges of our time, in particular, those that effect vulnerable communities.

The symposium was structured to facilitate the development of action plans to move beyond discussion to tangible steps to strengthen the collective efforts of the engineering and IT sector to improve gender diversity in our profession. Through discussions and workshops on the first day, key themes where identified to be progressed in the next 12 months. These included: Resources, Redefining engineering, School Outreach, Culture, and Evaluation.

It was pleasing that EWB was recognised throughout the symposium as a leader and supporter in this area. EWB’s Engineering Redefined report was referenced by keynote speakers and in focus sessions throughout the two day event. EWB will continue to support the theme area initiatives over the next 12 months.

Image: Participants at the 2019 Women in Engineering and IT Symposium. Image credit: Baro Lee.