IWD2024 - Women in Engineering: Haylee's Story


As we celebrate International Women's Day, we are reminded of women's social, econom...

NES Fircroft

By NES Fircroft

As we celebrate International Women's Day, we are reminded of women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements worldwide. This global celebration serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing journey towards gender equality and the need to raise awareness about women's accomplishments in various fields.

While the engineering industry has opened up for women in recent years, there is still much work to be done on job opportunities, career progression, senior leadership representation and equal pay globally. 

More and more companies are taking steps to close these gaps, meaning the opportunities for inclusion for women are growing. And women already working in the industry are leading the way for others to follow. 

NES Fircroft, with our extensive background in engineering, is fortunate to support the growing number of women engineers across our industries. We recently spoke to Haylee Nguyen, Process Engineer, about her experience as an engineer, how she got into the industry, and some of the highlights so far. Haylee also shares some advice for aspiring women engineers on how to get their start in the industry. 

Q: Let's start with your career journey first. What did that look like? What brought you into the industry?

Despite graduating with First Class Honours, I faced challenges securing a job during the COVID period and visa restrictions. With the support from Evolve, I have kicked starting my career as a Lab Technician at Adbri. This opportunity provided valuable exposure to the workforce and insights into the production process. I then transitioned to a role as a data analyst at a project management consultancy, enhancing my skills in project management frameworks and data handling. Despite the enriching nature of the work, my passion for process engineering persisted. I then saw a job ad from Adbri for a graduate process engineer position, without hesitation, I applied. Beside my experience and academic knowledge, the familiarity with the company and positive internal played a pivotal role in helping me secure the position. I've been thoroughly enjoying my current role, where I find joy in learning something new every day and contributing to the dynamic work environment.


Q: What was your motivation for pursuing a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering?

l always had a keen interest in understanding how things work and as a kid, I enjoyed taking apart gadgets to learn their mechanisms. During high school, I also excelled in science subjects, particularly Maths and Chemistry, which drove me to pursue a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering.


Q: What has been your perception of the engineering industry so far, from your experience?

Engineering is a journey of continuous learning and skill development. Each day presents new challenges to solve, making it an exciting field for those who love problem solving and science. Working on-site is also something I enjoy, it allows me to witness machine designs from inside out, offering a profound understanding of their workings.


Q: What advice would you give women who want to become engineers in the future, or are looking at making that step now?

My advice to aspiring women engineers is to believe in themselves, willing to take challenges, and remain persistent, focused, and proud of their work. Learning from others and seeking a career mentor, especially in the early stages, can be transformative. The guidance of a mentor surpasses the benefits of a high-paying job, providing invaluable support and insights.


Q: And finally, what has been your experience of working with Evolve? Have there been any particular highlights?

My experience with Evolve, particularly with Serena, has been very positive. She has supported me with my job search journey, connecting with employers. She continued to assist me with subsequent interviews, displaying responsiveness and helpfulness whenever I had inquiries. Serena's support was pivotal in securing my first job, which aided my settlement in Australia and helped me get my current job, finally become an process engineer!

Many thanks to Haylee for sharing her insights and advice on the engineering industry. If you'd like to learn more about how International Women's Day is inspiring inclusion, you can visit the IWD2024 website here.

You can also learn more about our available roles from the NES Fircroft website