Transforming the future through Inspiring STEM+

Laing O'Rourke
3 min read

The Inspiring STEM+ Programme is a Laing O’Rourke initiative with a vision of disrupting the way the construction industry embraces gender diversity, where female participation currently sits at 13% and even less when you look specifically at engineering and trades. We have a long-term strategy to tackle gender diversity by encouraging and supporting females in selecting STEM subjects in their influential high school years.

The Inspiring STEM+ Programme is a series of modules delivered over a two-year period. One two-hour module is delivered each school term to align with other school commitments and consists of educational and interactive activities that highlight the range of available career paths within the construction industry.

Currently, the programme is run in partnership with seven schools across Australia, led by volunteers across various functions who are passionate about encouraging students to be inspired about a career in a STEM industry. A number of young women who have completed the programme have gone on to pursue subjects and careers in STEM, completed work experience with us or are now employed with us. This speaks directly to the impact of the programme.

Kayla Chaoui is a Civil Engineering Graduate who first learned about Laing O’Rourke through our Inspiring STEM+ Programme in high school. As a result, she chose to pursue a career in construction with an engineering degree and now plays an integral role in the delivery of the programme, helping to educate future generations of young women on the variety of careers in construction.

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“Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College offers over six industry programmes and we believe Laing O’Rourke’s Inspiring STEM+ programme is the gold-standard, flagship industry programme. This is largely due to the Laing O’Rourke team who provide engaging and interactive learning modules for our students. Additionally, the Laing O’Rourke team offer in-real-time support and advice for students who are curious or have an interest in construction and engineering. We’re proud that our alumni are not only undertaking tertiary study in courses like Civil Engineering, Architecture, Mechatronics and Construction Management, but are in undergraduate programmes linked to Laing O’Rourke and other construction firms. For the College this is the ultimate indicator of the success of this programme. A key belief of our industry programmes is ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ and the Laing O’Rourke team are instrumental in affecting real, positive change – influencing and inspiring the younger generations to be champions of change in an industry that is in need of the talents and bright minds of women.”

Tom Lee Director of Innovation and Technology Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College Australia