Meet Angela Begg, an Australian student, from the University of the New South Wales’ (UNSW) Faculty of Engineering. UNSW is both the largest and top-ranked Engineering Faculty in Australia. She speaks of the obvious under-representation of women in engineering and the university’s aims of bridging the gap.
Women In Engineering inspires girls to pursue engineering degrees and careers, they support women studying engineering and celebrates the success of female engineering graduates.
UNSW’s extensive support for female engineering students is shown in the programs offered to school pupils, current students, industry support, and scholarships and awards available for the alumni.
Girl’s are sought after for grad jobs because of this and often receive a higher salary than others from their first year out.
Despite being above the national average in terms of female enrolment, UNSW Engineering’s goal is to increase female enrolments to 30% by 2020.
Angela addresses misconceptions about engineering
Historically, there has always been an issue with the way engineering has been marketed – typically as “a man’s job”.
Angela suggests that school-level outreaches need to target young girls and expose them to a world of science and innovation. “Don’t just encourage girls, encourage girls and boys equally and open these spaces and conversations in mixed gender societies,” she says.
The nature of engineering in itself is ambiguous. Engineering is a team sport, you don’t need to have large technical know-how going into university because you are taught everything. Although a prerequisite, engineering is not just about maths and physics. Students gain skills in project management, design and creative too.
Begg is the Secretary of the UNSW Renewable Energy Society and a second-year Photovoltaics and Solar Energy Engineering Student.
Keep representing Angela!