NewsAugust 7th, 2023
Nurturing Tomorrow's STEM Innovators
Bradken is proud to continue its support of the University of Newcastle’s HunterWiSE STEM education program for girls, fostering innovation and skill development for young minds and helping to inspire the next generation of female leaders in STEM.
2023 marks Bradken’s third consecutive year partnering with HunterWiSE to help encourage young female high school students in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia, to pursue STEM-based subjects as a pipeline to a possible future career.
Speaking on the importance of this relationship both as a business leader and a father of a school-aged daughter, Mark Hurley, Executive General Manager for Bradken’s Marketing and Technology business, said Bradken’s continued support of the HunterWiSE school program was important to show young girls the kinds of STEM careers that are possible for them in the future.
“Bradken’s role in being part of a sustainable society is central to our culture and what we deliver for our customers,” Mr Hurley said.
“Over the past few years, we’ve been working to increase female representation across our business because we know that having a diverse workforce brings a rich array of perspectives, ideas, and problem-solving approaches that allows us to innovate and grow.
“But in the pursuit of a more diverse and gender balanced future, it’s essential to recognise that future generations of young professionals won’t aspire to careers or achievements they don’t see represented in their surroundings.
“When young girls don’t see enough female engineers, scientists or technologists, it can have a limiting effect on their aspirations, leading them to believe that certain jobs aren’t meant for them. That’s not something I want for my daughter or any young woman on the verge of deciding what career path they want to follow.
“Bradken’s support of the HunterWiSE program gives us the opportunity to show these girls a different view of what their futures could look like – they can see it represented in our team of incredibly talented women working as Metallurgists, Engineers, Product Designers and Digital Technology Specialists.
“With any luck, we might even see a few of these faces back at Bradken again in the future taking on graduate roles.”
Dr Karen Blackmore, HunterWiSE co-founder and Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle's School of Information and Physical Sciences, said she was thankful to Bradken for its ongoing support.
“Industry partners such as Bradken play a crucial role in HunterWiSE activities by providing girls with valuable opportunities for hands-on STEM experiences. These experiences help to break down some of the stereotypes and barriers that have historically discouraged girls from pursuing STEM careers,” Dr Blackmore said.
“As a stalwart sponsor, Bradken has provided these experiences to more than 50 female high school students since 2020.
“The exposure to real-world applications and interactions with STEM professionals can ignite their passion for STEM and reveal exciting career pathways they may not have considered.”
Run over 10 weeks, the HunterWiSE Schools outreach program provides female Year 8 students, from schools across Australia’s Newcastle and Hunter region, the opportunity to work alongside STEM (*Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics) academics and student mentors from the University of Newcastle and engage with industry sponsors to solve local community issues whilst developing their STEM skills.