Curtin University and Chevron Australia have created a critical bridge between the university environment and the workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students.
The Engineering Ally @ Curtin program aims to help LGBTI engineering students to transition from university to a workforce not traditionally regarded as being sensitive to LGBTI issues.
Chevron Australia has become the exclusive founding sponsor of Engineering Ally @ Curtin, providing $5,000 through its PRIDE Employee Network.
Curtin’s existing Ally program, launched by Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket in 2006, fosters a University culture that is inclusive of sexual and gender diversity by providing a visible network of staff and students sensitive to the needs of LGBTI individuals. Training is offered to those interested in becoming allies and the network plays an active support and advocacy role within the University around LGBTI issues. There are now more than 150 people the Curtin Ally network. .
Engineering Ally Chairperson Reuben Edmonds, said, following the success of the Curtin Ally program, a further need was identified to provide support to LGBTI graduates entering the engineering workforce.
Mr Edmonds said the initiative was founded and run by engineering students from Curtin, with the support of Curtin Ally and Sheldon Smith, Equity Advisor for the Faculty of Science and Engineering.
“Engineering Ally aims to give LGBTI graduates the tools needed to navigate industry and ensure that they are aware of pride networks and support services within the companies they seek to be employed with,” he said.
Engineering Ally @ Curtin is working towards increasing its industry relations, equity and LGBTI networks with engineering employers, as well as raising awareness of the LGBTI support initiatives available in the engineering industry amongst LGBTI school leavers.
He said the Chevron Australia sponsorship was significant as funding for LGBTI programs was difficult to obtain.
Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only not-for-profit workplace program designed specifically to assist Australian employers with the inclusion of LGBTI employees. Curtin and Chevron Australia’s involvement with the program has led to a mutual interest by both parties in increasing their level of LGBTI community support.
Visit http://unilife.curtin.edu.au/diversity_and_faith/AboutAllyProgram.htm for information on the Curtin Ally Program.