The Gender Divide In Engineering. Are There Improving Opportunities for Australian Women?

Despite the fact that the Sex Discrimination Act came into force in Australia in the mid-1980s, there is little doubt that engineering jobs remain—for the most part—the preserve of men. Although much progress has been made in many industries, women still make up a disproportionate number of low-paid workers in jobs that don't require any specialist skills.

When it comes to engineering, is it fair to say that women are still not welcome to take an active role in this highly skilled area of work? According to recent data, the average engineer can expect to earn over $129,000 a year with some areas of engineering, like mechanical engineering, paying much more than that on average. Read on to find out what opportunities there are for female school and college leavers in what is an exciting and often well-paid sector of the Australian economy.

Types of Engineering Opportunities

The first thing to say about engineering as a career option for women is that it is not a single discipline. There are technical roles which require a university education, such as civil engineering, electrical engineering or chemical engineering. However, some opportunities in the sector can be learned on the job with qualifications being gained as you are trained. Piping engineering is a good example of this, where apprenticeships are often offered by companies that install and maintain things like air-conditioning ducting. With a few years' experience behind you, pay can soon rise, and it is possible to transfer your skills into other areas of engineering.

If you want to go into a more an area which is often viewed as more scientific in its approach, like civil engineering, then bear in mind that this can soon lead to employment opportunities that will require people skills, such as project management. In other words, women who might be put off engineering as a career path because it might straightjacket their future choices need not worry. Australian engineers often move from one type of work to another.

Getting More Women Into Engineering

According to the Institution of Engineers Australia, their new awards programme has helped to open up the traditionally male preserve of engineering to greater diversity. The institution commends construction and engineering firms which have made contributions to gender diversity and have provided ambitious leadership in this area. Crucially, they also encourage more scholarships and student participation so that young women can feel better valued in the sector from an early stage in their careers.

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About Me

Connie's Construction and Contracting Blog There are still many people do not believe that women should be involved in DIY or construction jobs. My blog is here to prove them all wrong. My name is Connie and I have always been interested in construction and repair work around my home. Rather than just sitting back and letting someone else take care of the problem, I like to get stuck in so I can try and learn something. However, sometimes there are jobs I cannot do on my own. However, when I call in a contractor, I always take the time to chat with them so I can pick up a tip or trick which will help me in the future. I hope you like the articles on my blog.