Women’s engineering program future-focused

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Kim Bird (author), Jay Cronan (photographer)

Topic(s): Naval Engineering

Group photo of the 2017 Mentees and Mentors of the Industry mentoring program
Group photo of the 2017 Mentees and Mentors of the Industry mentoring program "The Future Through Collaboration" held at the Vibe Hotel, Canberra.

The Australian Navy has joined the nation’s leading defence industry partners to support and develop in women in engineering and technical fields. 

Navy underlined its commitment to an increased female representation rate of 25 per cent by 2023, and is participating in ‘The Future Through Collaboration’ Women in Engineering Mentoring program, a defence industry initiative which sponsors women working in engineering and project management.
 
The program has been specifically designed to enhance capability, by supporting and developing women within Defence and the Defence Industry, and seeks to tackle the issue of gender diversity head on.
 
This is the third year Navy has been involved, and this year’s program was launched on 4 May at the Vibe Hotel in Canberra.
 
A focus on increasing gender diversity in the naval engineering community is at the heart of Navy’s participation.
Rear Admiral Colin Lawrence, Head Navy Engineering, said programs like this were essential to building Navy capability. 

“Both myself and Command Warrant Officer - Navel Engineering fully support members participating in the program,” he said.
 
“This program is a great opportunity for Navy Engineering to support women in technical fields.
 
“We look forward to a time when women in senior Navy engineering and technical positions are mentoring as part of this innovative initiative,” Rear Admiral Lawrence said.
 
This year Navy participants include three female mentees, with a technical trade senior sailor for the first time, and three mentors (both men and women). 

Participant, Lieutenant Commander Suzie Bishop, said she was encouraged by Navy’s commitment to supporting women in engineering.
 
“This is a fantastic opportunity to participate in a formal mentoring program which aims to grow and enhance capability,” she said.

“Being able to draw upon the experiences of somebody from outside of Navy provides me with a different perspective and challenges me to think differently,” Lieutenant Commander Bishop said.
 
Increased gender diversity is Navy’s key to a capability edge.

Participation in the program is a key driver to achievement of an integrated, diverse, resilient and deployable workforce that has the skills and competencies to deliver Navy’s warfighting effects.