On Wednesday 20th September, the UNSW Engineering community came together to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community at the Pride in Engineering Morning Tea event.
This annual multidisciplinary collaboration was organised by five engineering student societies: The Civil and Environmental Engineering Society (CEVSOC), Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Society (CEUS), Computer Science and Engineering Society (CSESOC), Electrical Engineering Society (ELSOC) and the Mechatronics Society (MTRNSOC); and aimed to provide a safe and supportive space for queer students and allies to connect with Pride networks within industry.
The event featured a panel discussion with industry leaders who shared their personal and professional journeys of being LGBTQIA+ in engineering. The panellists included:
● Todd Nguyen (he/him), a senior transport planner and National Pride Chair at WSP.
● Matthew Tendam (he/him), an associate environmental engineer, and NSW Pride committee chair at Aurecon. He is also the co-chair of InterEngineer, a network for LGBTQIA+ engineers and allies at Engineers Australia.
● Isabelle Testoni (she/they), a senior engineer at Catchment Simulation Solutions and an InterEngineer committee member.
The panellists shared their insights, challenges and learnings on how to embrace their sexuality and gender identity at work, how to deal with discrimination and harassment, and how to create a more inclusive and respectful engineering culture. They also offered advice and encouragement to students on how to be themselves while navigating industry, and how to thrive in their careers.
Held as part of the UNSW 2023 Diversity Festival, the event also aimed to raise awareness and support for the LGBTQIA+ community within engineering and to foster a sense of belonging and pride among queer individuals and allies.
It was attended by students and industry representatives from a range of engineering disciplinary backgrounds and supported by the UNSW Faculty of Engineering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee as well as four other sponsors: Aurecon, InterEngineer, Transport for New South Wales and WSP.
"It was a great opportunity for students to connect with industry leaders, hear their diverse stories, and learn from their lived experiences," said CEVSOC Community Director, Danni Yin.
"CEVSOC, CEUS, CSESOC, ELSOC and MTRNSOC would like to thank all the panellists, sponsors, and attendees for making the event a success. We hope to continue organising similar events in the future to build a more inclusive community within UNSW Engineering, and we thank the Faculty of Engineering EDI for their support in helping us achieve this."