The University of Newcastle, Australia

Empower Network

The Empower Network provides a three-way connection between university students, industry professionals and high school students through a combination of face-to-face and online 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 workplace knowledge 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
  • Provide opportunities for students to gain real world experiences such as an internship through the BUSN3002 Industry Placement program, or through a Professional Development Grant to assist with the cost of attending national and international student events and workshops

Current students

We are inviting all women (undergraduate and postgraduate) studying commerce, business, innovation or law to participate in the Empower Network.

You are able to remain in the Network for the duration of your degree, meaning throughout your time at university the network will provide the opportunity to connect with industry professionals and be an ongoing source of information and support. After graduation, you will have the option of transferring your membership to an industry professional.

The Network also provides the opportunity to develop your leadership skills by sharing your experiences with young women in high school.

You will benefit from:

  • Connections with industry professionals at all stages of their career
  • Exposure to professional networks
  • A greater understanding of the work environment
  • Being guided, and given direction in career development
  • Developing your own leadership skills as you interact with high school students.

As a University Student member of the EMPOWER Network you have the option to:

  • Attend the Empower Network events (up to four per year) that are designed to provide a platform for connection with university students and other industry professionals. We aim for these events to create the opportunity for informal connections to be made, either through coffee catch-ups, shadowing, or a workplace visit.
  • Participate in the schools component of the program  
    • Visit a school to speak to class groups related to your area of study (Business studies/ Legal Studies/ Commerce) and work with the university to develop suitable content for these presentations.
    • Attend a university event where you would be asked to speak or be a tour guide, sharing your experiences with high school students.

Empower Professional Development Assistance Grant

The Empower Professional Development Assistance Grant assists University Student members with the cost of attending professional development activities that align with the Network’s aims. Professional development activities include but are not limited to student conferences, software workshops and leadership courses.

Five individual grants are available of up to $500 each in Semester 2, 2020.

Complete applications must be received by Wednesday 30th September.

The Network seeks an equitable distribution of grants among the various discipline areas in the Faculty of Business and Law.

Please read the Professional Development Assistance Grant Guidelines document thoroughly before completing an application. The link to the Application Form is located within the Guidelines document.

Highlights from the 2019 Professional Development Assistance Grant recipients.

Sign Up To the network

High school students

We invite young women in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 studying or interested in commerce, economics, business, entrepreneurship or legal studies to participate in the Empower Network.

The Network aims to inspire and motivate young women about the education and career opportunities available in business, commerce, entrepreneurship, and law. The Network also provides experiences and skills to make informed decisions regarding your future, at a pivotal time in the ‘school to work’ process.

You will meet with local industry professionals and university students who will share their experiences and career journeys.

Why participate in the Empower Network?

You will:

  • Connect with current women university students and industry professionals through the dedicated online space and through school and university campus visits
  • Develop an understanding of what it is like to study at university
  • Be aware of the study and career options available to you in the area of business and law
  • Learn about the world of work
  • Develop skills to help plan for your career and future.

As a High School Student member of the Network you have the option to participate in the schools component of the program, which includes:

  • Attendance to on-campus events
  • Bringing family members along to our Open Day and Insight evening events
  • Actively participating at in-school sessions led by university students
  • Actively participating in activities related to the Network organised by the school.
Sign Up To the network

Industry professionals

Members of the Empower Network inspire and motivate (and are inspired and motivated by) a community of young women, who will become our future leaders.

We ask you to join to share your experiences, achievements, successes and challenges with the next generation of women professionals.

Why be part of the Empower Network?

You will benefit from:

  • Networking with other senior managers in the public and private sectors
  • Knowing that your contribution will assist in the development of women leaders of the future
  • Learning from the next generation as you share ideas and experiences with all members.

As an Industry Professional member of the Network, you have the option to:

  • Attend Empower Network events (up to four each year) designed to provide a platform for connection with university students and other industry professionals. These events create the opportunity for informal connections to be made, either through coffee catch-ups, shadowing, a workplace visit, or by identifying other professionals a students could also talk to (referring them to a colleague).
  • Attend a university event where you would be asked to speak or be part of a panel, sharing your experiences.
  • Visit a high school to speak to young women students involved in the program about your own career journey.
  • Provide a video profile for the Empower social network on LinkedIn and participate in the social network (consisting of high school and university students and other industry professionals.)
  • Supervise a student intern for 100 hours in a role relevant to their area of study. Follow this link to learn more about the internships we facilitate for Business and Commerce students.
Sign Up To the network

Related links:

Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Women in Master of Business Administration (WiMBA) Scholarship

International Women’s Day celebration with the Equal Futures Project