Engineering a More Equal Future

Women are seriously underrepresented in the engineering sector where less than one in 10 qualified engineers in Hong Kong are female. CLP is taking innovative steps to even up the profession’s gender imbalance.

Engineering a More Equal Future

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.”


Click on the video to hear Justina Yim and Macy Leung speak about their journey together as mentor and student in 2020.


More than 160 students have so far taken part in the programme and more than 80% of them say it increased their interest in pursuing careers in engineering.

Offering mutual support

Creating a sustainable workforce doesn’t just mean hiring more women: It means creating opportunities for colleagues to learn from each other and nurturing their growth and development.


Since 2016, CLP has held annual Female Engineer Networking events, bringing together women from Australia, India, Mainland China and Hong Kong for leadership training, management forums, site visits, and team building sessions.

April Jewell
April Jewell (seventh from left, top row) joins women engineers from around the region at a networking event.

Project engineer April Jewell of EnergyAustralia, who has taken part in three networking events, said meeting other female professionals from different countries and regions showed how women could manage both their careers and family lives.


“A particular takeaway from these events is seeing other women who advance their career while still having children,” she says. “We discussed the different legislation and working arrangements, and their advice helped me a lot when I had my first child in 2018.”

The networking events are just part of a broader movement to embrace gender diversity in all of CLP’s markets. That journey towards greater diversity is a long one with much ground still to cover.


Despite the challenges, CLP is firmly committed to develop a fair, sustainable, and equal workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities in which it operates.