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Abigroup debates that 'nice girls' can make it to the top!

01 July 2010

Thursday 24 June 2010 will go down as an historic day in Australian politics with the appointment of Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

By an uncanny coincidence on the very same day, Abigroup was the key sponsor in an Engineers Australia panel discussion held in Sydney entitled “Can nice girls make it to the top?”

A panel of four speakers, including Abigroup’s New South Wales Business Development Manager Elena Potenza, came together to debate the discussion topic, which was whether nice girls can make it to the top.

The other members of the panel were Squadron Leader Gordon Pert of the Australian Defence Force, RailCorp Senior Development Manager Hope Dilworth-Kidd and AECOM’s NSW/ACT People & Performance Manager Simon Hamilton .

Abigroup’s NSW Engineering Manager Sam Turnbull acted as Master of Ceremonies for what proved to be a lively evening of discussion attended by some 150 people at the Swissotel Hotel in the Sydney CBD.

Elena supported the notion that nice girls can make it to the top, and as the only panel speaker from the construction industry, provided valuable insight into her experiences in climbing the career ladder in construction.

Such networking evenings provide very real support, encouragement and career direction to women in engineering. Since her presentation, Elena has been inundated with emails and questions, particularly from young female engineers seeking guidance in their career and requesting copies of Elena’s coveted “10 success traits” which she discussed in detail during her presentation.

The panel discussion was the third of five Engineers Australia (Sydney Division - Women in Engineering) events Abigroup has supported this year and the most successful to date with over 150 attendees.  

Abigroup is working to encourage women’s involvement in the construction industry. As well as sponsoring WIE events the company has also established a Women’s Leadership Forum and has introduced family friendly policies like paid maternity leave and flexible working practices.

The speakers involved in the panel discussion. From the left: Simon Hamilton, Elena Potenza, Hope Dilworth-Kidd, Mai Yeung, Alexandra Meldrum, Gordon Pert & Sam Turnbull


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