Bechtel today announced partnership with STEM Returners Australia to increase diversity in STEM professions by supporting professionals returning to STEM careers. Through the STEM Returners program, the company will offer a 10-week paid placement in Australia for mechanical, electrical, civil, and design engineers, and project managers who are returning to the workforce after a career break. Bechtel will consider other opportunities for successful Returners upon completion of the program.
“STEM professionals re-entering the engineering and construction industry are an untapped source of diverse experienced talent,” said Leigh Carter, Asia Pacific general manager for Bechtel’s Mining and Metals business. “Our partnership with STEM Returners Australia will support those on extended career breaks who want to return to their careers in the industry while at the same time enhancing diversity in STEM careers.”
“I’m excited to be launching this program in partnership with Bechtel,” said Marcail Roe, director of STEM Returners Australia. “This will enable us to create opportunities for returners in STEM but also to influence the Diversity and Inclusion agenda in the field. Too many conversations are focused around one area of diversity but to make a genuine positive change we want STEM to be open and accessible to everyone."
STEM Returners Australia is grounded in the program’s success in the UK. The program supports engineers considering returning to work following a career break. Some methods used by much of the industry when searching for new talent rule out a number of talented engineers, particularly those from a diverse background or with career gaps. STEM Returners focuses on replacing recruitment techniques that can prevent industry diversity and removing the barriers these groups face, allowing them to provide value to companies that participate in the program. To date, 46% of all those who returned to STEM careers are women and over one third are from ethnically diverse backgrounds.