Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

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Thank you messages

Our program could not run without our program partners, who help facilitate activities and advocate our message across industry. Thank you for your support in 2018 and for some beyond. Please see below a summary of what your investment has achieved throughout the year.

Rio Tinto              Ergon Energy and Energex          Australian Power Institute

  • Executive Dean ready to take the lead
    Vicki - Executive Dean of EAIT

    Getting more women into engineering is a complex problem, however, our combined vision for it is not.

    We’ve learned, that the way to achieve the growth that industry requires, in addition to proactive recruiting, helping schools and universities develop a sustainable talent pipeline of suitable female candidates.

    However, we could only achieve such success collectively through genuine partnerships that create change. I’d like to personally thank the UQ Women in Engineering Program partners; Rio Tinto and The Australian Power Institute, with Powerlink Queensland, Ergon Energy and Energex and our Advisory Board members, for their commitment to the program and the cause. By working together and concerted efforts, we can encourage and educate more female high school students to consider a degree in engineering. We can support and develop our current female engineering cohort to have long and successful careers in diverse environments.

  • Executive Dean ready to take the lead
    Kartikee and Claire - Women in Engineering Team

    On behalf of the Women in Engineering (WE) team, we would like to thank the program partners for their commitment to the program and cause. 2018 has been a big and successful year for WE.

    We have aspirations and plans for next year and we hope that 2019 is even a bigger and more successful year. Some of the key program initiatives that we plan to implement in the future to reach our strategy KPI of 30% by 2023 include the following:

    • Teacher Professional Development Program which will inform teachers about the engineering career path.
    • Expanding our annual WE explore day to include not just engineering activities at university but also educating and informing students about the diverse lifecycle of an engineering career.
    • Collaborating with industry, other universities and educational institutions.


    The future of engineering is about collaboration and the best natural collaborators are women. While UQ has achieved much success with the program to date, there is still much to be done if universities are to supply industry with the required talent pool of skilled female engineering. To make a transformational impact, there needs to be a continuous, collaborative approach between all partners.

High School Outreach for 2018

Our high school outreach activity has increased and we have engaged with more female students compared to the previous years. We have connected with more teachers and guidance officers, helping us boost our relationships with teachers from key feeder schools but also building relationships with teachers from new schools.

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In 2018 WE have engaged with

  • Student engagement

    2283
    students

  • Female students

    1535
    female students

  • Teachers and guidance officers

    142
    teachers/guidance officers

  • High school

    97
    high schools

  • High school

    17
    universities

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Special Events

  • Executive Dean ready to take the lead
    WE Explore Engineering Day

    With UQ Women in Engineering Explore Engineering Day, students found out how their interest in STEM subjects can lead to an exciting career in engineering.

    Our annual WE Explore Day, which exposes female students to hands-on engineering related activities on campus attracted well over 100 female students from high schools around Brisbane. The survey conducted post our 2018 event showed a 21 per cent shift in perception about the engineering profession with 73 per cent of female students indicating that engineering at UQ will be the first preference. 100 per cent of student participants said that they will return the following year.

    Out of the ten activities on offer, students were given the opportunity to choose three workshops through which they were able to explore a range of engineering career paths. Some of the activities included building and launching rockets, utilising a robot to determine a ‘stop and go’ path and many more!

    Our annual Explore Day which has been a very successful event, will be expanded next year to include activities that will take students through the journey of becoming an engineer! Collaboration with our industry partners is vital and we will take every opportunity to connect with industry and contribute to the development of female talent in the engineering industry.

  • Executive Dean ready to take the lead
    Collaboration Workshop - Engineering a Diverse Future

    The biennial collaboration workshop which brought together delegates from Australian and New Zealand universities and other educational institutions who were able to participate in knowledge sharing, lessons learned and contribute to one common goal – to increase female student participation in engineering courses and develop female talent within the industry.

    The three main outcomes were:

    • Shared our existing gender equality education programs and recruitment initiatives targeted at increasing female students in engineering studies.
    • Identified further opportunities to increase female student participation in engineering focusing on three core areas – student engagement, teacher engagement and collaborate and connect.
    • Supported a collaborative approach and worked collectively together to create a strategy to meet our long term objectives and overall increase females participation in engineering studies across Australia and New Zealand while including industry within the process.

    Click here to read the full outcomes report from the Collaboration Workshop

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What they have said

University Representative [regarding the University Collaboration Workshop]

“I really liked how the UQ team fed back outcomes from the 2016 session and from Thursday into Friday. Clearly a lot of prep work and dedication over the two days! Work love to see this forum accessible to other working in this space.”

High School Student [regarding the WE Explore Engineering Day]

“It was a really interesting and fun event, it really encouraged me to consider Engineering as a future pathway.”

High School Teacher

“Thanks so much for taking the time to visit our school! The students enjoyed the presentation, the activities and meeting the student leaders inspired them.”

Women in Engineering Student Leader 2018

“I think the pros for this year was that the UQ WE team was very well organised and had concrete plans on how they were running every event. Having a well-structured event really reduced the levels of stress of everyone involved.”

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Our student leaders' journey

Our 20 student leader team were involved in high school presentation, career nights and UQ events. We have seen a positive shift in their presentation styles, their networking skills and overall confidence in themselves. Of the 2019 Women in Engineering Student Leader team, 7 are returning leaders from previous years. Of the surveyed team in 2018, 100 per cent of leaders rated their experience a 7 or above out of 10.

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Lessons Learned

Lesson Learnt

The data indicates that in Queensland alone, there are more female students who are eligible to study engineering when compared to male students. At university, we are not able to achieve that number at entry level engineering. As a result, we believe that it is vital to alter and market the brand/image to include female engineers and move away from the traditional ‘hard hat’ images. Our approach for pitching engineering as a successful career path was modified according to our audience - all female or mixed!

To attract female talent in the industry, it is crucial to convey the message and articulate that engineers rise to leadership of major enterprises and the diverse range of skills such as teamwork and communication that can be gained with an engineering degree.

Our outreach activities have traditionally focused on the high school age group level. Research has shown that stereotypes are formed very young, generally in the primary school years and as such an effective strategy for outreach must involve activities that spans all stages of school education.

With teachers being one of the major influencers of high school students, it is essential to inform and educate high school teachers and guidance officers about the engineering career. As part of our strategy for 2019, we will be developing teacher resource packs which will not only be a catalyst for promoting the engineering profession, but also be an ongoing education piece that can be passed on to their students.