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Driving women to compete in a male-dominated field

10 June 2016

There’s no doubt that you need grit and determination to forge a career in engineering, but the rewards make all the hard work involved well worth it. So why is this lucrative profession still dominated by men? Some say it is inaccessibility, some say it’s opportunity. Whatever the reasoning, there is evidence the tide is turning.

There is a growing number of women entering into this male-dominated industry, bridging the gender divide in a move that can only enhance workplaces. A report centred on Women in STEM professions has opened the door on the issues some women face in the industry.

The 2015 Survey of Women by Professionals Australia, an organisation that represents scientists and engineers, found that one of the key barriers to career advancement was the lack of access to senior roles for women. Despite women outnumbering men in roles beyond a seniority level 5 (the highest level measured) at a rate of 5.9% to 4.1%, the opportunity to progress up to that point is still often male-centric.

The government response

The Australian Minister for Employment and Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash says the survey aligns with the government’s view that more needs to be done to improve the participation, employment prospects and wage equality for professional women.

Senator Cash says the Coalition Government will help support women pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries, research sector, start-ups and entrepreneurial firms by investing $13 million over the next five years.

“We need a concerted, national effort to overcome the cultural and organisational factors that discourage girls and women from studying STEM and which subsequently limits their career opportunities,” Senator Cash says.

The degree you need

To advance your engineering career and prepare yourself for senior roles[TM1], Southern Cross University Online offers the Master of Engineering Management course, which may also count towards your continued professional development requirements with your professional registering body.

SCU also offers postgraduate degrees specialising in management across healthcare, IT, accounting, business, engineering and project management.

To chat to our enrolment advisors and find out more, call 1300 589 882 today.