Jenny O

Five female leaders from across Ventia have signed up to participate in a pilot program with UNIQ You. The program connects high school girls with industry advisors to inspire them to consider careers in non-traditional sectors like construction, transport, defence and utilities.  

UNIQ You is an innovative, technology-based diversity and inclusion initiative established to provide a unique careers advisory service for high school girls.

Our female leaders will volunteer their time to have one-on-one video conversations advising girls from year 9 to 12 across Queensland about their experiences, pathways and career insights. 

Encouraging young women who are yet to enter the workforce is an important way to develop the workforce of the future and aligns with Ventia's strategy to increase female participation across our operations. 

General Manager Strategy and Development Water, Andy Draper is passionate about increasing opportunities for women in what has traditionally been a male-dominated business. 

"Partnering with an organisation like UNIQ You enables Ventia to play an active role in increasing the pipeline of female candidates for future jobs," Andy says.

We know diversity is crucial for our business as we seek to innovate and deliver service excellence into the future, and this is one way we can be proactive in achieving that.

'We're very excited about the possibilities this partnership with UNIQ You will bring." 

Pictured above: Jenny O'Driscoll (Ventia), Tanya Meessmann (UNIQ You) and Andy Draper (Ventia)

Female role models across our industries 

UNIQ You officially launched in Queensland recently, with advisors from corporate partners across Australia pledging their time and industry insights to grade 9 to 12 high school girls from 30 schools via personalised one-on-one video calls.

General Manager in our Infrastructure Services and Telecommunications sectors Fiona McDougall is a program sponsor and is excited to see our volunteer advisors connecting with girls as relatable, inspirational female role models. 

Creating a space for open and honest conversations will hopefully help the girls understand what roles and careers look like in the real world, in organisations like Ventia.

"As we operate right across Australia and New Zealand in sectors like Transport and Telecommunications, Facilities Management and Utilities, it's also an opportunity to expose these young women to a huge variety of career opportunities," Fiona says. 

Uniq You is delivered through a technical platform, enabling partners to identify and access schools in high-priority regional locations. With around 40% of Ventia's revenue coming from regional and rural areas, reaching potential employees in these regions is key to our future growth. 

As an advisor, Project Support Centre Manager Jenny O'Driscoll is looking forward to participating in the program.

"The opportunity to inspire young women to consider a career in one of the sectors we're operating in can only benefit the future of our industry," Jenny says.

Having worked in this industry for over 25 years, I'm excited to mentor the next generation to help them choose a path that is non-traditional, which will lead to the generation of fresh thinking and new ideas to ensure success within these sectors.

Tanya Meessmann presenting at the launch event

Pictured: Tanya Meessmann, UNIQ You CEO, presenting at the UNIQ You launch event 

Partnering for success 

Uniq You have also partnered with national non-profit organisation CareerTrackers to facilitate Indigenous engagement. Over the past five years, Ventia has worked with CareerTrackers to provide Indigenous interns with experience working across multiple contracts and corporate office sites in the organisation. We have committed to an intake of 10 interns per year over 10 years through that partnership, and now we look forward to also working with Uniq You to inspire female Indigenous participation in our workforce. 

To date, thirteen corporate partners have volunteered to work with UNIQ You - selected on the basis that the industry sectors represented have less than 40% representation of women.