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As a leading national property, construction and retirement company that is focused on improving gender diversity within its own ranks, Hindmarsh jumped at the opportunity to join UNSW’s Women in Engineering Scholarship Program.
“The Hindmarsh Women in Civil Engineering Scholarship is a great opportunity for us to encourage the participation of women in the construction industry,” says Nicole Ashe, National People and Performance Manager.
“We value diversity and equal opportunity, and as such, felt this scholarship was a springboard for women to feel supported in their pursuit of excellence within the industry. Women have traditionally been under-represented in engineering and make up only 16 per cent of the construction industry. This is why Hindmarsh felt it was important to support the program,” she continues.
A key value at Hindmarsh is innovation and Nicole explains the relationship of diversity to the innovative process. “Diversity in our business is key to innovation in that the varied experiences and perspectives of our team allow us to think differently. We understand that to improve diversity within Hindmarsh we must collaborate with universities, industry groups and our competitors to also improve diversity within our whole industry.”
Linking with UNSW was also an important driver in the decision. “UNSW is a prestigious university with an international reputation for producing outstanding graduates,” Ashe continues. “Engaging with UNSW is a great opportunity for Hindmarsh to connect with undergraduate students prior to them entering the industry.”
Hindmarsh Women in Civil Engineering Scholarship
2016 Recipient: Daniella Assaf
Degree: Bachelor of Civil Engineering
Benefit: $10,000 each year for 4 years plus industrial training at Hindmarsh during the summer break
Daniella Assaf had always wanted to study engineering at UNSW, but taking part in the Women in Engineering Summer Camp and then winning the Hindmarsh Women in Engineering Scholarship made the final decision very easy.
“Throughout high school I was always interested in maths and science, and so, encouraged by my careers advisor, I attended the 2015 Women in Engineering Camp. The inspiring lectures and enjoyable activities played a major part in influencing my decision to pursue civil engineering,” she says.
Assaf is very grateful for the financial support but is also excited about the other main benefit of the scholarship. “I am looking forward to my industrial training with Hindmarsh over the summer vacation. It’s an amazing opportunity to gain practical experience as a civil engineer and I think it will definitely help me enter the workforce after I finish university,” she continues.
The transition to uni has had its challenges but Assaf is loving both her degree and being surrounded by a helpful community of fellow students. “I love the maths and physics subjects and how they are being applied and integrated into further subjects along the course and the people I have met along the road are fantastic too! It’s great to know I always have a supportive group of friends I can rely on whenever I need.”
In the future, Assaf hopes to work in construction and project management, but believes the skills she is learning are highly transferable. “With an engineering degree I know my options will always be open,” she says.