Women in engineering conference at Monash

Women aspiring to careers as engineering academics have another reason to celebrate International Womens Day today – Monash University has just announced the return of a unique event specially designed to support women in engineering to progress their academic careers.

The Future Women Leaders conference will gather early career academics in engineering from around Australia. Attendees will attend workshops, learn strategies to deal with the specific challenges facing women in engineering  and  network with their peers.

Professor Ana Deletic is one of the convenors of the event. She’s uniquely placed as an expert on the issue, being one of the few women in Australia who has made it to the top of  her  field. She’s passionate about increasing the number of women in engineering faculties in Australia, and supporting sustainable career paths for them.

“It’s well documented that diverse teams perform better, so it’s absolutely clear that in order to solve the problems facing our world, we must ensure that we’re nuturing and retaining the best talent,” she said.

“Women are perfectly capable of being great engineers, but there are cultural barriers, such as unconscious bias, which can prevent them from reaching their full potential. We’re looking at ways to remove those barriers and lead the change,” she added.

The conference is just one of many initiatives that Monash University has implemented in order to support women in engineering. Another significant initiative is the women-only fellowships which will be advertised again this year. These engineering fellowships support women in the early stages of their  career,  allowing maximum flexibility for each candidate and their particular career development needs.

Dr Julie Karel joined Monash late last year as one of two inaugural Research Fellows in the program, and says that her experience so far at Monash has been really positive.

“Everyone is very supportive and I can really see how my research and my academic career could flourish here,” she said.

“There’s a really strong spirit of collaboration and team work,” she added.

Professor Deletic and her colleagues are now calling for registrations for the two-day conference, which will be held in May. For more details, visit http://www.monash.edu/engineering/event/future-women-leaders-conference

For more information about gender equity programs at Monash University, visit https://www.monash.edu/gender-equity