Aspect supports the future of STEM careers

Aspect Supports The Future Of Stem Careers

​In the recruitment industry, we often get asked where the market is at, and where the market is going. Several years ago, we were unable to answer these questions, so we developed our own business report to respond accurately to our clients and that we could backup our answers with evidence. Our PACE Survey is Aspect’s annual report on market and salary conditions in Victoria’s planning, project management, architecture, engineering and construction industries. Aspect funds the research and production of the report, and every dollar raised from sales is donated to a charity partner.

Since the launch of PACE in 2013, we have raised $80,000 for various charities, and this year we are very excited to announce that we have raised an additional$16,660.37for our charity partner Power of Engineering.

So, what does this donation mean for Power of Engineering, and how will it support the future of STEM? Annie Townley (immediate past President and Engineering-in-a-box project manager) chats with us.

Who is Power of Engineering?

The mission for Power of Engineering is to empower young people to embrace their creativity, diversity, and engineering mindset to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

We do this by running one-day events for Year 9 and 10 high school female students (prior to subject selection) demonstrating that they have the power to change the world through engineering, in collaboration with universities and industry.

How did it all begin?

In the current environment, 75% of the world’s fastest growing careers require STEM skills, yet in 2012 just 16% of Australian university students graduated with STEM degrees (and a significantly lower proportion from regional areas), and just 11% of engineering graduates are women. However, gender diversity is recognised as being one of the most critical elements for innovation to occur. Power of Engineering was initiated to forge connections between students, industry, universities and the broader community, while at the same time educating and inspiring young women to adopt the necessary skills for their region to thrive.

Our origins lie in a one-off collaboration in 2012 between our founding members Felicity Furey and Jillian Kenny, Engineers Australia, Queensland University of Technology and AECOM to deliver a highly successful event for school students that aimed to create awareness about the array of opportunities available through engineering careers. Our first event included 133 female students from 13 schools across Brisbane, four workshops at the Queensland University of Technology, three industry guest speakers (including Australian Young Engineer of the Year) and five site tours.

How will the funds raised through PACE sales make a difference to Power of Engineering?

Our current funding limits the number of events we can hold, and therefore the number of schools and students we can reach. We are developing a product called ‘Engineering in-a-box’ that will allow teachers to run an activity in their classrooms that uses a realistic engineering project to meet similar goals as our standard events: showing students the diversity in engineering careers and the importance of creativity, collaboration, and negotiation. The activity will be delivered through a series of videos by real young, female engineers, explaining their roles, challenges they face and how they overcome them, and the next step in the activity. It is important for us to continue to offer a free service that is easy for teachers to take part in, therefore the activity will be designed to be flexible, either as a full day or split across multiple lessons, and be physically delivered in a pack that is ready to go and can be reused by the school.

The funding provided by Aspect is being used to further develop the product, videos and classroom packs that will be send out to schools on request to independently run a modified version of our signature event inhouse.

When will Engineering in-a-box be available?

The product will be developed in the first half of 2019, with a pilot roll-out in September 2019. Full roll-out is anticipated for term 1 2020.

How else can our community get involved?

We are entirely volunteer run, so it’s our partners and volunteers that help us to inspire the next generation of female and regional students and transform community perceptions across Australia. Our student and industry volunteers project manage, run workshops, give talks, and run site tours across QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, and NT.

You don't need to be an engineer to join our community, just passionate about making real change in the industry as a partner, volunteer or though donations.

Thank you to everybody who has contributed to making The PACE Survey what it is today. Whether it be time, energy, or money, we could not have achieved this incredible outcome without your participation.