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ESE – Wellbeing and Diversity in Engineering

2 June 2022 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

Upcoming event
Wellbeing and Diversity in Engineering

SESOC Emerging Structural Engineers are excited to host a webinar on Wellbeing and Diversity in Engineering. These are two big themes that impact everyone in different ways as part of their day-to-day life as an engineer.

Wellbeing has been at the forefront in recent times with the added pressures that Covid 19 has introduced. But wellbeing is not a new idea in a deadline focused industry like engineering. Gloria Wang and Michael Geddes will share their experiences as graduate engineers, and some of the challenges they each faced with different aspects of their wellbeing.

Diversity has also been a big focal point of the engineering industry as a whole, with initiatives like the Diversity Agenda engaging with companies to commit to accountability and action in this space. Hear from lecturers Charlotte Toma and Max Stephens about why this is so important, through the lens of gender disparity.

When: Thursday 2nd June, 1 – 2pm
Where: Online Via Zoom
Register here

 

Gloria Wang
One word to describe how I felt as a graduate engineer: incompetent. Not loud enough, not productive enough, not staying late enough, not contributing enough. I was inexperienced, I lacked confidence, and I doubted my ability to fit in and be accepted in the workplace. It took me two years to realise the problem wasn’t me, I just didn’t know how to deal with the environment I was in. We’ve all had times when we just wanted to fit it, and in the process we lose sight of authenticity. Come and listen to how my experience as a graduate influenced my sense of belonging in the workplace.

 

Hi everyone! I’m Gloria, a Systems Engineer at Beca. I graduated from The University of Auckland in Chemical and Materials Engineering and started my career as a Process engineer but now work in the National Defence and Security sector. What I enjoy most about work is that we are always solving new and complex problems with people from all different backgrounds. In my spare time, I love baking for friends, playing tennis and binging crime dramas on Netflix.

 

Michael Geddes
Our profession, I think you will agree, is a meaningful and rewarding one. It is also at times challenging and demands accountability. Naturally then, we could expect our mental health/wellbeing to be tested at various times during our careers. Graduate engineers may be  especially vulnerable to stresses as they begin to navigate the world of consulting: project deadlines, staffing shortfalls, challenging team dynamics and the like.

 

It is heartening to see growing awareness of mental health/ wellbeing in our industry. The aim of this paper is to stimulate further conversation in this area. Michael is a structural engineer at WSP New Zealand with 7 years of experience. Michael first presented on “mental health in the engineering profession” at the 2021 SESOC Conference. This latest presentation will cover observations on health and wellbeing in the engineering sector, his personal experiences in a consultancy and some tips and tricks to manage wellbeing.

 

Charlotte Toma and Max Stephens
Women continue to be underrepresented in the engineering industry; however, in New Zealand, the key factors contributing to this disparity have not been analysed. This study investigated the factors that affect gender imbalance in the New Zealand engineering workforce. Barriers inhibiting and initiatives positively influencing the career progression of men and women were identified. Analysis of the results identify women are often subject to serious discrimination and stereotyping. The researchers also determined factors which would help improve gender diversity within the engineering industry in New Zealand.Charlotte Toma and Max Stephens are lecturers of Structural Engineering at the University of Auckland. This research was completed by Hannah Davidson and Lucy Devonshire in 2020. The presentation will discuss some key findings and also introduce the work underway to enact change in the Industry.

Organizer

ESE
Website:
http://ese.sesoc.org.nz