The Staff Gender Equity and Diversity Working Group and the UNSW Engineering Deputy Dean Societal Impact and Translation, Professor Rita Henderson, organised a successful event to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June. The afternoon included a panel discussion on Diverse Career and Pathways followed by a networking opportunity for all.

Panellists in the International Women in Engineering Day event represented a range of backgrounds and career pathways. They were Medical Technology Association of Australia Associate Director, Jasjit Baveja; UNSW School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Academic Management and Teaching Support Officer, Chasna Harper; Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Deputy Director of the Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering, Laura Poole-Warren; and Senior Lecturer in the UNSW School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, Inma Tomeo-Reyes.

The group discussed opportunities for early career academics outside of academia and drew from the experiences of the panelists. Associate Professor Kristen Splinter, commented, “There is always this challenge on what opportunities to take (and pass on) to get a lot of exposure, but also keep the workload manageable.”

“Our discussion continued into leadership journeys, opportunities for women to take on more leadership roles and bringing our authentic selves to work and safety culture in the workplace—talking about creating a welcoming and supportive work culture to acknowledge and celebrate/support our diverse workforce."

A panel was also hosted for Women in Engineering Day in 2022, and this year participants and organisers noted both a strong turnout and a lively Q&A session.

These events are about getting the conversations started and hopefully driving people to think about their own experiences and how they can look at ways to improve our workplace for everyone.
Associate Professor Kristen Splinter
Deputy Director UNSW Water Research Laboratory, ARC Future Fellow

Kristen added, “It was wonderful to see some tough questions asked from our audience and equally great answers and discussion being brought forward by our panel.”

After a light lunch, attendees were invited to stay for the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN) ‘Women in Sensing: Research Translation and Commercialisation’ panel—a series which profiles women leaders from across the network and provides inclusive platforms for networking and identifying collaborative opportunities.