Women in Surveying, International Women’s Day 2024

North Sydney

WISE women leading the way to the future of diversity in surveying.

International Women’s Day is starting to look different in the surveying industry. Just a few years ago, a room overflowing with female professionals from the surveying industry would have been an almost impossible sight. But now, thanks to the WISE network, women in surveying are finding each other.

The WISE network is headed by the unstoppable Peta Cox, who, once you start looking, is everywhere in surveying. Social media, podcasts, in-person events – the surveying industry is Peta’s passion and she’s determined to share her love of surveying with as many people as possible.

The leafy interior of The Green Moustache at North Sydney was the perfect spot to come together on International Women’s Day 2024 and celebrate, by sharing stories, visions of the future of women in surveying, and practical tips on how to get there. As we enjoyed some delicious food and drink, Louise Azzopardi gave her keynote presentation. A female mechanic, she understands the challenges of being non-male in a male dominated industry. Louise spoke of how on some days the struggle of being the only woman in the room motivated her to push harder and prove herself (which led to international recognition in her field). On other days, it was lonely, depressing and left her doubting her place in the industry. As a result, she’s become a champion and coach for women navigating a similar path.

We also heard from other female surveyors and GIS experts who shared their stories about starting out in surveying, challenges in the field (like, where can we go to the loo?), and how they and their employers accommodated different life stages such as having children.

Female surveyors in NSW are hard to find. Registered female surveyors are even rarer – there’s only about 29 of them in the state. Events such as this one are so important, not only for women already in the industry, but for aspiring female surveyors who wonder if what they are passionate about is going to offer them a career they can be their whole selves in. As they say, you can’t be what you can’t see.

Thanks to WISE and ISNSW for putting on fabulous event for us all.

Peta Cox speaking on International Women's Day
Peta Cox speaking on International Women’s Day
Louise Azzopardi tells her story at women in surveying event SYdney
Louise Azzopardi giving her keynote talk

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