Ass Prof Bobby Harreveld, Alexis Hill, Leanne Hixon, Kate Brand, Caroline Morrissey, Hannah Jolly, Dr Roslyn Cameron and Dr Prue Howard at the forum held by a group of CQ University researchers.
Ass Prof Bobby Harreveld, Alexis Hill, Leanne Hixon, Kate Brand, Caroline Morrissey, Hannah Jolly, Dr Roslyn Cameron and Dr Prue Howard at the forum held by a group of CQ University researchers. Kara Irving

Academics tackle task of attracting women into industry

WHAT does it take to lure female engineers to Gladstone's workforce?

The task may be challenging, but it seems three CQUniversity academics are seeking to solve the riddle one step at a time.

Drs Prue Howard and Roslyn Cameron and Associate Professor Bobby Harreveld hosted their first research forum on Wednesday to find ways to attract, train and retain women in the industrial and resources sector.

The forum is part of a new localised report which aims to discover problems associated with attracting and retaining females in Gladstone's engineering industry.

"We'll take the information gained from today's forum to progress with our study," Dr Cameron said.

Recently the study gained funding through the Vice-Chancellor's Engaged Research Initiative.

Five guest speakers from local industry and business spoke at the event.

Assoc Prof Harreveld said there was a clear gender divide in the resource and industrial sector in Gladstone.

"What come through today is that there is a divide in the local workforce," she said.

"We are really pleased that we had a diverse turnout today."

The academics said the focus group was an ideal way to pool ideas between industry, business and educational professionals.

Jacinta Larney and Kaitlyn Carmody at the forum held by a group of CQ University researchers.
Jacinta Larney and Kaitlyn Carmody at the forum held by a group of CQ University researchers. Kara Irving

Civil engineer jobs fit for graduates

A CONVERSATION and a few weeks of work experience helped land Kaitlyn Carmody a career as a civil engineer.

The 20-year-old CQUniversity student admitted she didn't really know what career path to follow until speaking with a close family friend who worked in the industry.

"It was definitely the right decision for me," Kaitlyn said.

Kaitlyn has been working on the Wiggins Island project for the past 12 months as part of the WICET AGJV project and she said she's enjoying every minute of it.

"I'm really enjoying it," she said.

The same could be said for Gladstone local Jacinta Larney.

After graduating from CQUniversity, the 22-year-old landed a civil engineering job at Gladstone Regional Council.

"I always loved maths and science, so after a few work placements at council I decided to apply for a graduate position and I was successful."

Main issues for female engineers

  • Finding accommodation
  • Lack of upskilling opportunities
  • Competitive wages
  • Needing to leave the region to get a university degree



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