Alcoa is shining a spotlight on the ratio of males to females in the engineering sector, as it aims to increase the number of women working in the profession.
One of the ways the miner is doing this is through its Bev Corless Women in Engineering scholarship. This project provides financial and practical support for female university students, with applications recently opening.
Kate Leekong, who currently works at Alcoa's Kwinana Alumina Refinery, has received the Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship for the past two years. She urges interested students to apply, saying she had not only received invaluable financial support but also the opportunity to get hands-on experience and paid work.
"There are so many things out in the refinery that I have only ever been able to hear about in lectures and read about in textbooks, so it's really valuable to be able to experience it all first-hand," Ms Leekong said.
"One of the biggest standouts about working at Alcoa for me has been the people and strong sense of community. Everyone has been exceptionally welcoming and encouraging. Whether it's a g'day as you walk down the office hallway or a wave out in the refinery, Alcoa employees live the company's core value of caring for people and it really shows," Ms Leekong said.
Curtin University spokesman Damon Wasserman said Alcoa had consistently demonstrated its commitment to building a diverse engineering workforce.
"Over many years Alcoa has supported building a more diverse engineering workforce through the Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarship. The combination of financial support and opportunity for industry experience are formational for recipients, providing opportunity to focus on studies and gain hands on experience in the engineering profession," Mr Wasserman said.
Two successful applicants will each receive $7,500 toward their 2022 studies and the opportunity for practical work experience with the company.
Eligible disciplines of study include civil and construction, chemical, electrical and electronic, mechanical, mechatronic, mining, and metallurgical.
Alcoa, which operates bauxite mines and alumina refineries in the south west of WA, was the first company to introduce scholarships for women studying engineering at Curtin more than a decade ago. Other companies have since offered similar opportunities.
Applications close on March 9, open to full-time female students enrolled in their second, third, fourth or fifth year of studies in an engineering degree at Perth's Curtin University.
The Bev Corless Women in Engineering Scholarships has been named in honour of one of Alcoa's former outstanding engineers.
For more information, including an application form, visit Curtin's website: https://scholarships.curtin.edu.au/
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