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Where are all the women engineers?

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UTS Women in engineering and IT, Lucy graduates 2017

Women make up approximately 12.4% of the engineering labour force in Australia - even less in building services engineering.

To tackle this statistic, Lucy is an innovative longstanding program originated to inspire, motivate and educate young women about the opportunities available for employment and leadership in the public and private sectors. Offered through the Women in Engineering and IT group at the University of Technology Sydney, students are paired with mentors in STEM related organisations.  The programme provides students with 35 hours of invaluable support from an experienced industry mentor between May and October each year.

The Lucy programme is an excellent opportunity for Building Services organisations to get involved, reach out to eager engineering students and to share the joys of choosing a career in building services engineering. In 2017, there was a surge in the number of students wishing to participate in the programme with many missing out. The University is calling on more Engineering based organisations to participate in 2018, to meet this higher demand.

At the programme’s graduation ceremony last year students spoke of the many benefits of participating in the Lucy programme. This included experimenting with modelling software, developing products, visiting sites as well as gaining universal skills like an understanding of team structure, the value of LinkedIn, dress code and office culture.

A reoccurring observation made by many of the students was that their experience in the programme had challenged their view that engineering was primarily a male industry. This perception a big hurdle in achieving diversity in Building Services Engineering and one this programme has the potential to address.

The 2018 programme is open for expressions of interest until 23 March 2018.

Find out more about what’s involved and become a mentor:
https://www.uts.edu.au/about/faculty-engineering-and-information-technology/women-engineering-and-it/industry-engagement

CIBSE ANZ are particularly keen to link up with various education providers in the ANZ region to assist the engineers of the future through programmes of this nature.  If you are a student or Lecturer at a University that operates a similar programme or would like to link up with CIBSE ANZ where we can assist, promote and mentor our engineers of the future, email spestonji@cibse.org.au

If you would like to hear more about mentoring opportunities around Australia and New Zealand, listen in to this month’s Talking Buildings podcast with Candice Lim, CSIRO Project Officer for STEM Professionals in Schools or speak to the CIBSE Chair in your chapter.

CIBSE ANZ Young Engineers Awards are another great way to promote young building services talent. Entries close 1 May 2018. Click for more information

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