Sonia Lewis, Vice President, South32Sonia Lewis, Vice President – People at South32, says the resources company was attracted to the Women in Engineering Scholarship program at UNSW because they want to help the most talented aspiring female engineers receive the best education possible.

“Essentially, this is about supporting women to pursue their passions in science and engineering. In a complex and rapidly-changing environment, engineering and the mining and resources industry gives women the skills to be independent and creative problem solvers – we want more women to reap the rewards of this exciting and rewarding career,” she explains.

Lewis says fostering diversity is the first step in building a culture of inclusion, which is important, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it also makes good business sense. 

“We know that to have diverse teams, we need access to the whole talent pool - and that means access to the brightest ideas and most innovative thinkers. Greater diversity contributes to a high performing business culture. This is a change we want to unlock not just in South32, but as a larger society.”

As an employer of choice for many UNSW Engineering graduates, Lewis says the scholarship also provides a valuable opportunity to increase their exposure and engagement with future employees and leaders.

UNSW Engineering is a key talent pipeline for South32. This scholarship program allows us to directly engage with female students living close to one of our operations in Wollongong, so we can ensure they are well supported as they pursue their ambitions.”