• The organisation had successfully recruited 50% of high potential female engineergraduates for 10 years, but they did not stay for more than 3 years
  • The assumption was females resigned for family reasonsThe informal male networks supported male careers but unconsciously excluded females
  • There were no female engineer leaders and narrow male leadership styles of success
  • Male supervisors assumed they had to work long hours to be successful


  • Managers were well intentioned but didn’t know what to do to fix female retention and career advancement
  • The organisation had best practice HR policies and diversity programs as foundations


  • Analysed the data and confidentially interviewed female engineers who had stayed and left to understand their workplace experience
  • Identified the business case: calculating that every female engineer who left was costing the company $100,000. Losing five females every year was costing the company $500,000/year
  • Worked in partnership with the Production and Talent Manager and successfully educated leaders and staff; shifted mindsets and culture using data, stories, strategy and metrics
  • Identified, connected existing policies and programs and addressed the gaps by implementing a successful female engineer retention strategy


  • Stopped  female attrition saving the company $500,000/year i.e. $2.5 million over 5 years
  • Improved  decision making by increasing diversity of thought to increase innovation and solve complex business problems
  • Increasedleader effectiveness and staff productivity through increasing inclusive leader capability, staff engagement, increased  access to flexible work practices and careers and a more constructive culture
  • Attracted and retained the best talent and strengthened company brand; winning the Australian Gold Work and Family Awards twice and the Institute of Engineers Australia awards for attracting and retaining female engineers.