Diversity matters. In an increasingly globalised business world, diverse working teams bring new perspectives and experiences, open broader dialogue, and promote creativity, innovation, and adaptability.
The more diversity, inclusion, and engagement there is in a workplace, the stronger and more sustainable the outcomes.
Awareness of the importance of gender diversity in particular has increased in recent years, especially in industries such as the energy and engineering sector where the imbalance is striking. Women engineers can also be the role models to inspire more girls to study science and technology-based subjects and foster a new generation of engineering professionals.
Women accounted for just 8.1% of qualified engineers in Hong Kong in 2019, compared with 49% of solicitors and 32% of doctors, according to the Women's Commission.
There are numerous reasons for the lack of female engineers, including a lack of mentorship and a lack of provisions to allow for a work-life balance.
But change is coming. Keen to address the underrepresentation of women in the industry, CLP has raised the percentage of female engineers in its workforce from 10.9% in 2018 to 11.5% in 2020, and is determined to do more.
Inspiring female students
The introduction of an effective mentorship programme has been a key element in increasing the number of women engineers in recent years.
CLP launched the Female Engineering Students Mentoring programme for university undergraduates in 2015, one of the first programmes of its kind in Hong Kong.
The year-long programme includes sharing sessions and visits to CLP sites, with each mentor taking charge of one or two students to ensure dedicated support throughout the programme.
Justina Yim, Safety Culture Transformation – Change Team Leader, was a mentor in the programme in both 2016-17 and 2019-20.
“I am passionate to help develop the next generation of female engineers,” she says. “The last programme allowed me to pass on what I have learnt to my student, who was always curious about new things and prepared herself for every challenge.”
Justina’s student Macy Leung, a final year engineering undergraduate, said: “Justina helped me to grow both professionally and personally. She motivated me in finding my own path and striving towards my goal of joining the power industry.”