Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A big dream to see more women in Engineering

At the beginning of the year my office was asked to sponsor an event being organised by one of our students. I get a lot of requests for sponsorship but not often for initiatives like this and when I learnt more about what the student was trying to do I was pretty impressed.

The event, named the Dream Big Project, was the idea of third year engineering student Jessica Kahl and aimed to inspire young women in the latter years of high school, to choose engineering as a career path. As well as being an all-round good idea I was also keen to see it go ahead as it was likely to be a great opportunity for us to interact with and recruit future students.

Last week however it came to my attention that the Project had in fact been recognised as a nominee in the Engineers Australia Gender Diversity Awards under the category of ‘Most Encouraging student or non-profit group in Gender Diversity’. While Jess and the Project didn’t win the category the Dream Big project was given a highly commended stamp.

The fact that this Project was recognised as a nominee by such a prestigious, national organisation got me thinking how this was more than just a great opportunity for the University to interact with prospective students. It was actually a chance for young women to be inspired by someone they can relate to and to be switched on to a career in engineering and the many possibilities that come with this. Traditionally, engineering has been a vocation that primarily attracted males (as with many of the maths and science related disciplines), so how great is it that something is being done to change this and to encourage girls to become engineers? More so how great is it that it is a CQUniversity student leading the charge?

Congratulations on your recognition Jessica! You definitely deserve it. I can’t wait to see the Dream Big Project develop further and the impact it will have on attracting more women into the program. 

To learn more about the Dream Big Project please go to the site Jessica has developed http://jessicakahl1995.wix.com/dream-big-project.

Participants at this year's event

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