Improving female representation in Australia’s engineering sector

Fri 19 Jun

A strategy for inclusiveness, well-being and diversity in engineering workplaces was launched at Parliament House today with the support of industry and the Australian Government.

The strategy highlights that women continue to be underrepresented in the engineering sector and outlines a comprehensive approach for improvement. Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash acknowledged the work of Engineers Australia in promoting the strategy and congratulated Dr Marlene Kanga for her leadership in bring it to life.

“The statistics clearly show that we have not reached the critical mass we would have hoped for in relation to female representation in the engineering industry,” Minister Cash said. “For example, in 2011 women represented just 11.8 per cent of the engineering workforce, while only 51 per cent of women qualified in engineering worked in the field.”

“Boosting women’s workforce participation in such industries and indeed across the entire workforce is good for the economy and means a more prosperous future for Australia.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science, Hon. Karen Andrews MP, participated in a panel discussion at the launch and said the strategy highlights how determined leadership can make a big difference in changing attitudes. “As an engineer myself, I know that women in particular do face challenges when it comes to pursuing a career in the sciences,” Mrs Andrews said. “The situation for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) merits particular action because the proportion of women employed in these fields in Australia is comparatively low.”

“The Government is supporting a range of initiatives to bring girls to science, to get women in to labs, and to ensure that more people, whatever their gender or career, understand the importance of STEM to their day-to-day lives and to the future of Australia.”

A copy of the 16 page strategy is available online at