Dreaming big to drive diversity in engineering

18 Sep 2020

It was the declining number of women enrolled in Jessica Kahl’s university engineering courses that sparked her big business idea.

Jessica saw the impact she could make on school students and was inspired to create more opportunities for young people to experience the exciting reality of the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) field first-hand. And so, her business Dream Big Australia was born.

Now a civil engineer herself, Jessica is inspiring a new generation of future engineers to consider a career in STEAM while driving gender balance in the engineering industry and championing innovation.

Her engineering journey will leave you inspired.

Duration: 19:32 mins

More information

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Meet our guest

Jessica Kahl

Jessica is a chartered civil engineer, entrepreneur and gender equality advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Co-Op) (First Class Honours) from CQUniversity and was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Academic Achievement and Community Engagement and the Top Thesis Award at the Graduating Engineers Conference.

She has extensive experience in engineering and management across capital-intensive industries such as infrastructure, resources and government. As service leader on Australia’s largest intermodal terminal project, she is accountable for major planning and design programs of work, critical commercial relationships and advanced technical delivery.

Jessica is renowned in the industry for being a passionate advocate of gender balance initiatives, particularly those which support women’s development opportunities in engineering. As managing director of Dream Big Australia, she has dedicated over five years to empowering young women to pursue careers in STEAM. Her success in advancing gender equality was recognised in Engineers Australia’s centenary feature, ‘100 Engineers Making a Difference’ and she was a keynote presenter at the World Engineers Conference. To support young people in shaping their futures, she facilitates educational events, work experience programs and hosts a careers podcast called STEAM Ahead.

Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn.