Through developing technical collaboration links and nurturing the growth of a new generation of female engineers, WSP has supported the Women in Engineering Scholarship with the University of Queensland (UQ) – Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology.
At a ceremony held at the university earlier this year, the 2019 WSP Women in Engineering scholarship was awarded to first year engineering student Brooke Jones.
Brooke was selected for the scholarship based on several criteria, including her intentions for a strong commitment to collaborate with the community and her determination to pursue her career in engineering, despite economic hardship.
Brooke is a mature student and athlete. To access greater educational opportunities in her field of choice, she made the tough decision to relocate away from her family and hometown in Tasmania.
Earlier this year, a delegation of WSP representatives met with Brooke and 2017 scholarship recipient Jessica Barton at our Brisbane office.
Ronida O’Brien, Senior Water Engineer and Diversity and Inclusion Council representative notes, “The meeting provided our team with valuable insights of the challenges that young women can face when balancing study and work.”
This scholarship not only provides support to women experiencing economic hardships while undertaking an engineering degree, in turn it also helps improve gender diversity in the industry by removing a barrier to entry many women face.
Current statistics show the percentage of first year female engineering students who go on to the second year of their degree is only around 30 per cent.
Rob Clarke, Director of Property and Buildings, recalls his own engineering education days when female participation was less than 15%.
“Gender diversity is vitally important in STEM fields to create balanced industries and workplaces, with a variety of ideas and perspectives that reflect society,” said Rob.
Sindy Williamson, Commercial Director of Transport, is also a keen supporter of the initiative based on her firsthand Experiences.
Sindy believes diversity in any field is positive.
“A key requirement for engineers is to solve problems,” said Sindy. “We need our people to look at challenges from different lenses – that’s the best way to find optimal solutions.”
To find out more about the scholarship and how to apply, click here.
Learn about Diversity at WSP here.
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