Female engineering graduates on the rise at UQ

Originally published by Australian Mining – December 2016.

A record number of women have graduated from engineering at the University of Queensland, well above the national average.

Women accounted for 26 per cent of all graduates, higher than the national average of 17 per cent. The number of female graduates has grown from 21 per cent in 2012 when the national average remained at 15 per cent.

Professor Simon Biggs, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology (EAIT) executive dean said the growing number of female graduates reinforces the university’s push to create a more equitable engineering industry.

This is particularly through the university’s successful Women in Engineering (WE) program which aimed to address the gender disparity in engineering at both tertiary and industry levels.

The university recently hosted the first joint university workshop with universities across Australia, New Zealand and the US state of Colorado, exploring the best ways to recruit women into engineering.

Their long term goal is to increase female participation in engineering worldwide.

“We don’t just want to see gender diversity improve in engineering at UQ, we want to see broad change across the industry in Australia and globally,” Biggs said.

Second year chemical and environmental engineering student Geethu George said young women need strong female role models as they consider undertaking an engineering career.

“Having women in these senior positions and watching them achieve success is essential to increasing female participation in engineering.”

Women make up less than 13 per cent of Australia’s engineering workforce.

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