Hydro Tasmania has said it is continuing to build its commitment to workplace diversity with the sponsorship of two scholarships to support women in engineering.

The engineering firm is sponsor of Engineers Australia’s Driving Diversity Scholarships which this year were won by Emma Calvert, from Sandfly, a former St Michael’s Collegiate student; and Hannah Price, from Taroona, a former Elizabeth College student. Both are first year engineering students at the University of Tasmania and will each receive $5000 to help fund text books, study fees, and other services that support their study.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said Hydro Tasmania was proud to be a sponsor and congratulated the two successful scholarship recipients. He said the energy industry, and particularly engineering roles, had traditionally been very male-dominated. Recent data indicated only 18 per cent of engineering graduates nationally were female.

Of Hydro Tasmania’s current crop of 21 graduates, only two are female engineers. Of the more than 300 people who expressed an interest in joining Hydro Tasmania’s 2020 graduate intake, only 33 were women.

Davy said while these figures were disappointing, they are not a surprise to those who know the industry well.

“The national figures show the engineering profession has an image problem when it comes to attracting women,” he said. “Engineers Australia is a strong advocate for change and the scholarships are one way we can show our support for young women who choose to make engineering their career.

“However, there is a lot more we all need to do, both through universities and in the school system, to introduce the idea of engineering as a career to young women early in their education.”

Hydro Tasmania has created an Education Outreach program that includes encouraging students to consider a STEM career.