The University of Newcastle, Australia

Welcome to the Empower Network

The Empower Network is one that thrives off the shared values and mutual beliefs of women who want to make a difference. The Network is designed to help women in the process of becoming stronger and more confident in their ability to manage their own career.

EMPOWER provides a three-way connection between university students, industry professionals and high school students through a combination of face to face and online experiences and interactions. These connections are designed to inspire and inform young women about the study and career opportunities available in business, commerce, entrepreneurship and law, informing decisions regarding their work futures.

EMPOWER aims to

  • Give women the confidence and strength to navigate and manage their own career development;
  • Create new networks and provide access to role models and influential peers;
  • Develop networking, leadership and business communication skills;
  • Expand workplace knowledge;
  • Provide real-world experiences that students can apply to their studies and their personal career choices.

Revised Network structure in 2018

We have changed the shape of Empower for 2018, to make it more flexible and easier to get involved. We have also broadened the scope so university students at any stage in their degree can join the network and maintain their membership throughout their studies.  The new format enables sustained connections and provides a strong network for all women participants, be that industry professionals, university students or high school students.

Key changes include:

  • The hosting of four Empower Network events to provide a platform for industry professionals and university students to connect with each other.
  • An online social network that will underpin the program to enable ongoing and ad-hoc communication with all participants. The online space will also provide the opportunity for industry professionals to connect and share content with students and other industry professionals.
  • Removal of the prescribed professional placement (35 hours).
  • More flexibility in the way members can connect outside of the events we host. You can connect with each other via coffee catch ups, having them shadow you for a day, through a workplace visit, or by identifying other professionals the student could talk to (referring them to a colleague).
  • Optional participation in the local high school component of the program, visiting a school or attending a university event to speak with young women in high schools.

Professional placements

Professional placements are very much encouraged and are now facilitated by a dedicated course in our curriculum, enabling students to receive credit towards their degree, for the professional placement they undertake. Curriculum-based professional placement courses are identified as best practice in facilitating professional experience for students, via their university degree.

Our industry placement course, BUSN3002 (which upon successful completion provides students with 10 credit points towards their degree) is being offered across the full academic year. We are keen to facilitate professional placements through this course, for our EMPOWER Network participants. Should you meet a student and wish to arrange a professional placement experience, we will be here to support you to do so.

We also encourage industry professionals to consider hosting any student for 100 hours in the industry placement course. We are currently seeking host organisations for both the Intensive Winter school offering (3 weeks late June – July)  and Semester 2 (August to November).