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A panel of female industry leaders with some of the most diverse and creative engineering careers in Western Australia will share their experiences at an online event next Tuesday to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day.

International Women in Engineering Day is an internationally recognised day that aims to highlight the amazing work by women in engineering and technical roles.

The event, which is hosted by Girls in Engineering, an outreach program at The University of Western Australia, will provide real insight into what engineers do and encourage young females to consider a career in the profession.

Participants will hear from a range of women working and studying across various industries including automation and mining, civil and transport engineering, software engineering, electrical and electronic engineering and mechanical engineering.

The panel comprises UWA graduates and students who will discuss what engineering is and what engineers do, as well as misconceptions about engineering.

Panellist and mechatronic engineering graduate Hannah Golding is the founder of the Girls in Engineering program that started in 2014, a partnership between Rio Tinto and UWA to encourage women to study engineering.  

She carried out research and development at UWA as a Rio Tinto graduate in the physics faculty, developing a survey instrument to find the next Tier 1 deposit.

Golding said her role was focused on discovering and influencing automation solutions for Rio Tinto.

“My team is thinking about how we do mining now, and how will this change in the future?” Golding said.

“For example would we use smaller electric vehicles, could we control diggers remotely, and can drones offer benefit in delivering essential items.”

 Golding said it was important to celebrate the successes and achievements of female engineers in the industry.

“Women in Engineering Day is about celebrating the progress we’ve made towards a diverse workforce,  and sharing the benefits of an engineering career to future students,” she said.

The gender imbalance in the engineering profession is particularly acute in Australia, according to the president of Engineers Australia’s Queensland division, Chris Nielson.

“There is no fundamental reason whatsoever why there shouldn’t be more women in engineering in Australia; 35% of engineers in Europe are women,” Nielson said.

“Iran has more than 50% women in engineering and 70% of all STEM graduates are women.  Similar representation needs to be achieved in Australia if we are to continue our place as global leaders.”

Female representation in Australia currently stands at 12%.

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