Sue Murphy is a highly regarded engineer who has worked in the industry for nearly 4 decades. She spoke to Engineering Heroes about the importance of water management, which is a key priority in WA, and how the key to any successful engineering project is communication and co-operation with the community and all stakeholders.
Sue says she studied engineering largely to annoy her parents! While her dad was an engineer, her parentswanted her to do medicine. In facteveryone expected her to do medicine, even her teachers and friends at school. She even went so far as applying to uni’s for medicine, but realised that she wasn’t even mildly interested in the field. So after a bit of searching around she landed on engineering, with a focus on construction and eventually water.
When you live in Western Australia, water is always a challenge for engineers and for the community
International Women’s Day
Sue has been at the forefront of the changes in women in engineering. She spoke about times in the early days when there just weren’t facilities on site for women, but that never seemed to stop or slow her down.
She now looks back on her career and initially feels nothing has happened, but as she reflects on the changes, she reallises that so much has changed.
there’s gotta be a time where people assume that gender is irrelevant in any role you do.
Extra discussions during the episode
Future: There are no shortage of challenges for engineers to tackle. But the key to the solution is ensuring diversity in the industry.
What we’ve got to do is understand that we need whole people…..that’s where diversity comes into play, because if you’ve got a whole lot of the different people, they’re bringing different thinking to things.
Advice: She believes the new engineers are extremely lucky.
I’m really relying on the next crop of engineers coming through to have all the brilliant ideas so that in my dotage, I can have a very comfortable life.
It’s a fabulous engineering feat. And a great example of perseverance over logic….. it’s a good and a bad example, because it’s an example of what happens when you don’t engage, when you don’t share your views.
… was a wonderful man with a wonderful leadership style that trusted people.
you can always go back later in life and learn a language or learn art, but you’re never going to go back later in life and do calculus.
Sue graduated as a Civil Engineer from the University of Western Australia in 1979. After winning a Clough Scholarship as an undergraduate, she joined Clough Engineering in 1980 commencing what would be a 25 year career in that organisation. Twelve years in the field as a site engineer and project manager led to corporate roles with a focus on engineering design management, human resources and safety and her appointment in 1998 as the first woman on the board of Clough Engineering Ltd.
In 2004 Sue joined the Water Corporation of WA and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2008. Sue is recognized internationally for her leadership of the Corporation’s adaptation of water supply in the face of climate change. This includes the delivery of two large scale desalination plants, Australia’s first large scale indirect potable recycling scheme and award winning programmes of customer engagement to reduce per capita water demand while maintaining Perth’s enviable liveability.
In each year from 2009 – 2016, Sue was listed in the top 100 most influential engineers in Australia by Engineers Australia. In 2013 Sue was honoured with the prestigious Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year Award by the Board of the College of Civil Engineers of Engineers Australia. Sue was also elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia.
In 2014 Sue was presented with the IWA’s “International” Women in Water Award and in 2018 Sue was ranked number 8 in the prestigious Water and Wastewater International magazine for the top 25 Water Leaders and was named as the 2018/19 WA Business Leader of the Year at the AIM WA Pinnacle Awards.
Sue was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) at the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours List.
Sue is now a nonexecutive director on a number of listed and not for profit Boards including Monadelphous Ltd, UWA, WA Treasury Corporation and the Fremantle Dockers AFL Club.
This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken during the Podcast, Season 5 Episode 6
It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Sue Murphy
Sue Murphy episode
Sue: [00:00:00] I thought my parents would be disappointed and a bit cross with me, but they’re actually quite pleased. So I actually failed at annoying. But so I wasn’t one of those people who spent their whole life wanting to be an engineer or wanting to understand how things worked. I was good at maths and sciences. I was kind of bossy and organized everything. And I just swept into engineering without giving it a great deal of thought.
[00:00:25]Mel: [00:00:25] How did you land on civil?
[00:00:28] Sue: [00:00:28] Again, uh, I did in first year engineering at UWA, which is where I did my degree. first year was a common year, no matter what sort of engineering you did. So I did first year, and then I did better in the civil and mechanical type subjects than I did in the electrical one. So I thought, well, in second year you only had to decide civil, mechanical or electrical, electronics.
[00:00:49] So I did civil mech and then. I don’t know, I don’t, I, I just drifted into it. I’m singularly aimless in all this, I’m a total disappointment to you all because I didn’t come with this with a great burning passion to do anything. I did engineering. I had a passion to do well because I think I’m Quite competitive, but I didn’t really think much about what I was going to do when I graduated.
[00:01:13] I did first year and then thought, Oh, that was okay. And then I did second year and third year, and then I thought, well, I’m nearly there. So I finished the degree and started applying for jobs. So, um it was a bit aimless and probably very disappointing for you.
[00:01:26] Mel: [00:01:26] Well, actually, it’s quite refreshing to be honest. And, uh, be keen know. So you said you were applying for jobs. where did you land when you first got out of uni?
[00:01:37] Sue: [00:01:37] Well, I had won a scholarship at the end of my third year at uni, which was with a company called Clough engineering. Harold Clough who’d set Clough up, had a setup, the scholarship scheme a few years earlier, really to get first pick of the graduates. And he paid students in their final year with no strings attached with the concept being that you’ll either join us at Clough or you work somewhere else and if you work somewhere else, you’ll probably be our client. And either way, you’ll think favorably of the company. So I, I had a scholarship with Clough and as part of the scholarship, you got invited to drinks on the last Friday of every month with the people in Clough. So I sort of knew people there.
[00:02:18]And when I graduated, I applied for lots of jobs and I got lots of interviews because I was the only girl in my graduating class, a lot of the employers were quite interested to see what a “Sue” looked like, whether I was part of some sort of Johnny Cash song or whether I actually was a girl.
[00:02:34]So I, I had a few, quite a few job offers, but because I’d been with Clough for the year, I accepted the job offer there and, it’s really interesting, cause all the boys at uni thought that Clough didn’t want to take any graduates because they’d offered their scholarship to a girl and a girl wouldn’t want to work in construction. But I probably hadn’t thought it through enough to know that a girl wouldn’t want to work in construction.
[00:02:56] So I joined a construction company straight from uni at Clough, and I stayed there for 20 years. It was a wonderful, wonderful time. And I had a terrific career at Clough.
[00:03:06] Mel: [00:03:06] Do you remember, after you finished the graduate program and were officially hired on what was one of the first projects that you were working on? Do you remember
[00:03:14] Sue: [00:03:14] The first project I worked on was the three tier grandstand at Subiaco oval. So I’m a football tragic day, but, uh, we had the contract to build.
[00:03:24] Mel: [00:03:24] that AFL?
[00:03:25] Sue: [00:03:25] Yes. Yes, I have it. Real
[00:03:27] football, not
[00:03:28] Mel: [00:03:28] football. We totally agree where we’re huge football fans as well in that
[00:03:31] Sue: [00:03:31] uh, so, um, Clifford won the project to build the three-tiered stand and we were in very big bonuses if we finished in time for the finals, this is before AFL, when it was the WAFL the local league. And we had redesigned it to be precast. So my first job was to work on the redesign as precast. Then I looked after the pre-cast and then worked on the project, putting it together.
[00:03:53]It was a great project, a lot of fun. And I learned a lot about how important the bonus is to a construction project for time. I think we were all. Everyone in the office was out there painting the seats the night before the grand grand final, because we realized the bonus was worth more to us than we could still pay the dry cleaning bills if the paint hadn’t dried in time for a few people. So it was a, it was a wonderful project, but. But I stayed with Clough for a long time. It was actually, it was never 25 years by the time I left and, um, had a marvelous time. I did every role going in the company, I think.
[00:04:27]But I had quite a few years in the field, probably 10 years working on sites.
[00:04:32] I worked in Wyalla, we built the Port Bonython jetty for Santos , which was fantastic. When we were working in Whyalla I got interviewed by the local newspaper, the Whyalla Times or whatever it was called, because I was the only girl on the site at that time. And I tragically likened an engineering construction project to having a dinner party.
[00:04:56] I said, it’s the same sort of organization because you’ve got to have ingredients and a schedule and timetable, and you’ve got a budget and you’ve got to make it all work. But they wrote that in the paper and the boys on site were… Thought it was the funniest thing. And they actually gave me, well, they gave me this wonderful one of my most prized possession still.
[00:05:14] And it’s a copy of the woman’s weekly cookbook, but it’s recovered in stainless steel with etched every, “Every Girl’s Guide to Jetty Construction”. So, uh, it was, um, it was a lot of fun really. And we had a lot of time. We worked very hard though, and it was great fun.
[00:05:30] Dom: [00:05:30] So, do you feel like you paved the way for women in engineering or women in construction in WA?
[00:05:36] Sue: [00:05:36] Look that implies an altruism I just don’t think I have, I just
[00:05:39] did what I did and, and I think you cease to have gender pretty quickly. Clough we had a lot of projects on the go and most people would rather work with someone competent, irrespective of gender. And I truly think when you get busy on a job, you’re just working as a team and part of the crowd.
[00:05:55] So I think people who didn’t know me or didn’t know much about our group, our site would have maybe thought I was a trailblazer, but the people I worked with, I was just Sue. And those boys are still very good friends of mine. They’re not boys anymore.
[00:06:10] Mel: [00:06:10] Did you say some day, did you see some changes come along? So as in those 25 years, have you, I’m hoping by the time you were exiting Clough, that there was more than just you around.
[00:06:21] Sue: [00:06:21] definitely Clough was huge by the time I left. I think when I joined the company, we had about 30 engineers working for us. By the time I left, I think we had about 3000, it was huge.
[00:06:30]But, a lot of things changed. When I first went on site. The first site I worked on in Whyalla, there were no women’s toilets. So you learn not to drink too much tea or coffee early in the day because otherwise you’d have to do the, you know, the sort of a mad dash into the toilets. And I’d asked her a couple of times to see if we could get something done, but because it was only me, it didn’t seem worth the effort of changing things, but as the site got bigger and bigger and more and more people came, we ended up with admin and office staff. And by then they were women’s toilets. But learning bladder control’s not a bad life skill anyway. So I wasn’t really that, that perturbed.
[00:07:05] Mel: [00:07:05] You’re so laid back about it all.
[00:07:07] Sue: [00:07:07] Well, realistically, you get a lot further with a smile and a laugh than you do with a complaint.
[00:07:12]If every day is a big battle, it’s just exhausting. I don’t think you can live your life like that. I have always enjoyed the work I do. And I think that if somebody makes assumptions about me, well, that’s kind of their problem, not my problem. And I think I’m assertive enough and always, probably have been that if somebody is trying to put me down or put me in a box, I’ll probably push my way back out. But generally I think. If someone says something outrageously sexist, if you just sort of look at them and let them think about what they’ve said, or burst out laughing, nine times out of 10, they kind of backtrack.
[00:07:46] Most people just want to get the job done. Now there’s lots of times where people have said things that are probably not ideal or have made assumptions about me. And probably the only complaint I’ve ever really had is when people made decisions for me and said, Oh, Sue, won’t want to go to Karratha or Sue won’t want to go Bush, but they only did that once and then they decided no we’ll actually ask her and be okay.
[00:08:08] So I think I worked with amazing people in a company that valued competence. And a company that really believed that the whole person was important. So Harold Clough, who I worked for was a, an amazing man, amazing boss. And you could be working on a big project and everything was going wrong and you were really worried and you don’t see Harold and he’d say, Oh, you’re young guys.
[00:08:32] You’re so clever. You’ll come up with always come up with a really good idea. And you’d go away and you think. Because in those days, it wasn’t listed. It was still a private company. And I think it’s his money and he doesn’t seem upset. He thinks I’ll fix it. So you’d work every hour, God sent to fix it because someone had faith in you.
[00:08:50] And I think the most addictive thing in the world is having someone have faith in you.
[00:08:55]Dom: [00:08:55] So you work with Clough and then you worked with the water corporation. Where are you now?
[00:09:00]Sue: [00:09:00] I’m on boards. I’m not, I’m not working. My children will tell you compared to what I used to do. I’m not working at all. Um, but, uh, uh, I’m on a, quite an eclectic group of boards and I can go to Pilates at eight in the morning and instead of at 5.30 in the morning. So life is really good.
[00:09:17]So realistically I only had two engineering company jobs. I worked for Clough for nearly 25 years. And then I worked for the Water Corp for about 15 years and was CEO for 10 of those. So I haven’t really flitted about much.
[00:09:29]When you live in Western Australia, water is always a challenge for engineers and for the community. And I think it’s one of those issues where everybody has an opinion and everybody has a vote because everybody’s equally vested in getting the right outcome. So the time I had at the Water Corp was absolutely amazing.
[00:09:49] And the 10 years I had a CEO was a joy because you really have the ability to influence how state as big as Western Australia, it’s two and a half million square kilometers and the water corporation manages water and wastewater and drainage across that whole state. So it’s a huge footprint to play with, but if you look at rainfall into Perth’s dams and the bulk of the population are in Perth and the Southwest.
[00:10:13] Well, the average runoff into Perth’s dams over the last hundred years is about 350 billion liters a year. The average for the last decade is about 30 billion liters a year. So the runoff is just phenomenally less. So praying for rain as a corporate strategy is not going to cut it.
[00:10:33] So we looked At the Water Corp we quite early on decided that we couldn’t talk about drought because drought is a short-term problem, so we were talking about climate change very early on. To me drought is like going on a crash diet to fit into a dress on the weekend. But climate change means you have to change your eating behavior so that you stay at a different shape for your whole of your life.
[00:10:56] And that’s exactly how the water corporation approached it. So instead of looking at short term drought solutions, we looked at changing customer’s behavior and we dropped the per capita water use by 30%. We looked at climate independent sources. So one de-sal plant, which was the first in the country, then another, which we doubled in size again.
[00:11:16] And then, the thing I’m probably most proud of was getting potable, reuse up. So taking wastewater, treating it, putting it through reverse osmosis, injected into the ground. Pulling it out of the aquifer and drinking it. So half of Perth’s water supply now is totally climate independent.
[00:11:33] And, that gives you a way of growing with the community. So as the population grows and you have more wastewater and you recycle that, you actually have got a sort of a cycle that isn’t requiring new water into it. And then the other component to that is changing our urban form so that we live in a way that’s compatible with the climate. Not in some fantasy of someone who came from England 200 years ago.
[00:11:59] Dom: [00:11:59] That’s that’s sensational, and it must be so exciting and so fulfilling to watch those things being implemented and seeing,
[00:12:06] Mel: [00:12:06] So much innovation change over that. Yeah.
[00:12:08] Dom: [00:12:08] and seeing the final product.
[00:12:10]Sue: [00:12:10] Look, it’s been a joy. The water corporation is a wonderful organization. it has always had very strong bi-partisan support politically. So when the East coast were tearing themselves to bits about whether de-sal water is liberal water or labour water in Western Australia, it’s just water.
[00:12:26] And, uh, there are many things in politics that politicians don’t do well, but the politicians of Western Australia have always understood that water’s a long-term problem and you have to approach it sensibly.
[00:12:38]Dom: [00:12:38] There have been so many great initiatives that have been implemented, but. There’s obviously still more that can be done there. Are there other things that you think that we should be looking at or other techniques that we should be trying in order to further increase the amount of water that we can save or make best use of the precious resource that we have?
[00:12:56]Sue: [00:12:56] Well, water’s always going to be a journey and there’s never going to be a simple silver bullet. So I think it’s a great blend of engineering and community involvement because often the solutions are small scale and community level. And, too often as engineers we’re perceived as thinking of only the great big solution, the big de-sal plant, the big recycling plant. But success happens equally when you work with a very small community looking at where their storm water goes, looking at the storm water drain, making that into a community wetland. looking at where houses are sited, looking at use of groundwater, all of those things, even, even looking at things like what’s planted on the verges as you drive along the street, is it all lawn or could it be more the foliage and the plants that were native to the area.
[00:13:43] So I think the real engineering challenge is combining engineering and technical knowledge with a community engagement process, listening to the community, listening to the customers, listening to the people who are worried about their grandchildren’s future and getting those ideas and mixing it in with a technical solution to have something that you can actually deliver.
[00:14:05]Dom: [00:14:05] So what are your thoughts on the future of engineering?
[00:14:09] Sue: [00:14:09] Well, engineering to me is about solving problems and there are no shortage of problems. So the future of engineering is just infinite because more and more we’re having issues arise in our community that require a logical and a helpful solution.
[00:14:27] But I think the future of engineering is about not just the technical solution. What you learn at university is very technical and you need those technical skills to have as your ticket to ride, to be part of the engineering fraternity. But solutions are only going to come when you work with the community, when you work with everybody else, all the stakeholders, when you work with the environment, when you look at indigenous knowledge. In water terms, there’s so many stakeholders who know an awful lot, other than the technical experts.
[00:14:56] So I think the future of engineering is that these problems that exist across all of the globe will only be solved when the technical aspects of engineering can be integrated with listening and bouncing ideas around and diverse concepts and thinking and working with everybody who’s a stakeholder.
[00:15:15] And then we’ll get a really good answers.
[00:15:17]Dom: [00:15:17] Are we getting better at that as engineers, do you think? Because there’s the stereotypical engineer who doesn’t like talking to people really. Like port of the thing is they like to sit behind the desk and solve the problems, but don’t actually engage in the community consultation, is that something that we’re improving on as time goes by?
[00:15:35] Sue: [00:15:35] Well, we have to improve on it or we won’t exist as a group. I think the fiction of the engineer who doesn’t like talking isn’t, I’m not sure there are, there are a few of them, but there’s not that many of them.
[00:15:45]I think those engineers who we used to say, lock them in a cupboard and just put the problem on a bit of paper under the door, and they’ll send you out the answer. If you asked them the right question, you couldn’t shut them up. So I think what we’ve got to do is understand that we need whole people.
[00:16:02] And my point has always been that that’s where diversity comes into play, because if you’ve got a whole lot of the different people, they’re bringing different thinking to things, but that helps because they’re all the users of the end product. So if you’re building a road or a bridge or a water treatment plant or whatever it is, you’re building, it’s not going to be used just by you.
[00:16:21] It’s going to be used by all kinds of different people. So it’s important that you engage with and understand all kinds of different approaches. And I think engineering is maybe a little late to the party realizing this. but in the old days, the engineer could stand on the Hill and wave his arm and say, the pipeline will go there and someone would build a pipeline.
[00:16:41] Now you’ve got an environmental impact study. You’ve got to do flora and fauna surveys. You’ve got groundwater conditions. You can’t just resume land. You’ve got to engage with people. You’ve got native title issues. You’ve got a million issues before you even start on a pipeline route. And I think it probably makes life much more complex and there are probably some older engineers who yearn for the olden days when people listen to them and just did whatever they said. but it also makes for better solutions and a much more integrated community. And I think the days of community implicitly trusting science are gone. And I think that’s probably good. There’s no reason why you should get trust if you don’t earn trust. And I think that applies at all levels, applies to the people you work with and it applies to the community in which you work. So engineers are getting better at it, but I think it’s undersold as an engineering skill.
[00:17:33] I think one of the reasons women are not attracted to engineering is they have a stereotype of a big, strong, silent man who is doing some calculation, but in effect, most engineers spend most of their working life talking with other people, working in a team, bouncing ideas, understanding the community needs and all the things that are around them.
[00:17:54] So I think it’s a different solution. If you say, do you want to grow up and design a pipeline? You’ll probably alienate a lot of people in the community. But if you said, do you want to grow up and design a way that your children and your children’s children will always be able to have fresh water to drink?
[00:18:10] That’s a totally different issue and that excites people much more
[00:18:14] Mel: [00:18:14] And, and yeah, it definitely engages them.
[00:18:16] Dom: [00:18:16] particularly the interaction because one of the, our often quoted quotes is from someone earlier in the Beer with an engineer days where Don PcPhail actually said, engineering is a team sport and it really is.
[00:18:29] And it’s something like that, it requires so much input from so many people and it’s all about listening and understanding what the problem is, and then pitching that problem in the right way, in order to be able to get the best solution for everyone.
[00:18:42]Sue: [00:18:42] absolutely.
[00:18:43] Mel: [00:18:43] So, what would you say to people just starting out in engineering?
[00:18:47] Sue: [00:18:47] how lucky are you to be young now? There’s just so many problems to solve and many of them, we’ve made for ourselves along the way. But, the whole climate issue has to be addressed. The whole, where energy is going to come from, how transport happens, how cities grow. There are a million problems and I’m really relying on the next crop of engineers coming through to have all the brilliant ideas so that in my dotage, I can have a very comfortable life.
[00:19:14] So I think it’s a wonderful time to be an engineer. And I think engineering is that bridge between pure science and the humanities and the social sciences. And it’s a, it’s a wonderful place to be.
[00:19:29] Mel: [00:19:29] Hm. I love that. We usually only have one two questions that we round off with, but this is a special episode for tying in a little bit of international women’s day. And I’m going to ask you the usual two questions, cause I’m, can’t wait to hear what you have to say, but I’ll be adding on a few at the end there.
[00:19:48] So what’s a piece of engineering that has impressed you?
[00:19:52] Sue: [00:19:52] Well, I think if you live in Western Australia, you have to be impressed by the CY O’Connor’s pipeline from Perth to Kalgoorlie. Everybody’s impressed by it. I’m impressed by it for different reasons than everyone else. So, yes, it’s a fabulous engineering feat. And a great example of perseverance over logic.
[00:20:10] If you like just key, shear doggedness of getting it going. But to me, it’s a good and a bad example, because it’s an example of what happens when you don’t engage, when you don’t share your views. And when you don’t bring everyone along with you. Because poor old CY O’Connor of was hounded to his death because he didn’t have the community on side with him. And he left all of that work to a politician, to someone else. So to me, it’s a fabulous project and a fabulous example of absolute commitment. But it’s also a great example of what happens when you don’t do the social side of your engineering, where you don’t bring your community and everybody else along.
[00:20:50] And I feel a bit sorry for CY O’Conner. I doubt I would have liked him. I think he would have been a nitpicking pain in the neck, but he was certainly a driven man. And I think if he had the license to do the engagement that we now insist on in our engineers, he would have still been alive at the end of the project.
[00:21:08] Mel: [00:21:08] He died before seeing it succeed. Didn’t he?
[00:21:12] Sue: [00:21:12] He
[00:21:12] Mel: [00:21:12] He
[00:21:12] Sue: [00:21:12] He shot himself because the Sunday times of the day accused him a being corrupt and taking money from the contractors who were doing the work. And he was so appalled at this. He couldn’t. Live with himself and history showed he was absolutely not corrupt, but his suicide note is a classic because it talks about why he can’t live any longer with the pressure of these attacks on him.
[00:21:37] And then it’s got PS because he was building the Mundaring where the dam that supplies the water to the pipeline. And he says PS the wing walls of the dam need extra reinforcement. And he had this, all these technical notes in it’s paint. It’s it’s the saddest
[00:21:51] Dom: [00:21:51] true
[00:21:52] Sue: [00:21:52] uh,
[00:21:53] Mel: [00:21:53] makes it even sad. Oh my God. I wish I almost
[00:21:56] Dom: [00:21:56] No about that.
[00:22:00] It’s horrible and beautiful at the same time. Really?
[00:22:03] Sue: [00:22:03] It is.
[00:22:04] Mel: [00:22:04] say it’s beautifully horrific. I’m sorry.
[00:22:08] Dom: [00:22:08] um, what we’d normally finish up on, but what I believe will be the second last question is, do you have an engineer that you admire?
[00:22:15] Sue: [00:22:15] Lots of engineers for different reasons. See, we’re kind of, for the reasons I
[00:22:19] Dom: [00:22:19] Okay. I was wondering whether they’d be on plus or minus.
[00:22:22] Sue: [00:22:22] am I allowed to have a couple? I admire, I admire Harold Clough very much who set up Clough engineering and really was a wonderful man with a wonderful leadership style that trusted people.
[00:22:33] And I admire my father, my father is a mechanical engineer.
[00:22:37] He spent a lot of time in academia later. He’s a very practical person, a very well-read person. Dad speaks many languages and loves words, very erudite. And his view was, just because you’re an engineer doesn’t mean you only do numbers, you can be interested in other things. And I think that’s really important.
[00:22:55] He argued, you can always go back later in life and learn a language or learn art, but you’re never going to go back later in life and do calculus. So you might as well do the science early and get that right. And then expand your horizons. Yeah.
[00:23:07] Dom: [00:23:07] That’s very true. Very good point.
[00:23:11]Mel: [00:23:11] And I just want to point out this is you have actually come up a number of times as an engineer that other people have admired. So it’s, it’s a beautiful circle right now that we have, I’m just so honored to have you with us, but I do want to finish off, what does international women’s day mean to you?
[00:23:29] Sue: [00:23:29] I think it’s a wonderful day. I think international women’s day is a time when people my age can look around and say, Oh my God, it feels like nothing’s happened. But when I look back quite a lot’s happened. And young people can say, it’s not enough. You’ve got to do more. You’ve got to make more happen.
[00:23:43] I mean, there’s gotta be a time where people assume that gender is irrelevant in any role you do. There’s a wonderful video that was made for kids that programmed made. They had a group of school kids and gave them Barbies and Ken dolls and got them to dress them up as an engineer, an electrician, a footballer, a ballerina, or a nurse, all these different things and the kids, or these were little tiny kids.
[00:24:12] They all put the men in the men’s traditional men’s areas and the women in the other. And then they had people come into the classroom, a male nurse, a woman who’s an engineer, a woman who was a footballer, different people in different roles. A man who was a ballet dancer, all different people.
[00:24:29]It was really shocking that at sort of four or five years old, those kids had their views formed so fully on what is expected. And somewhere along the line, we’ve got to change that. So I have my first grandchild due in May, a granddaughter I know. So, uh, she’ll be like, I’ve got three daughters myself now and all my girls grew up with every construction toy known to humanity because I was on so many committees about encouraging girls to do maths and sciences. And one of the issues was supposed to be that spatial toys helped build spatial awareness. So none of my girls did engineering. My oldest is an architect that’s as close as I came. so I’ve, I can maybe try with the granddaughter and get the Lego and the Duplo and that stuff out there.
[00:25:14] Mel: [00:25:14] Oh, that’s wonderful. That’s actually such a nice, wonderful story to end on and congratulations on becoming a soon to be grandmother.
[00:25:21] Sue: [00:25:21] Thank you. My daughter’s quite offended that people congratulate me. She says I’m having the baby. And I said, it’s all me. It’s all
[00:25:28] Dom: [00:25:28] right. You started the ball rolling.
[00:25:32]Mel: [00:25:32] Thank you so much for joining us today. I’ve really loved our
[00:25:34] Dom: [00:25:34] conversation. Yes. Thank you so much. It’s been wonderful speaking with you.
[00:25:38] Sue: [00:25:38] It’s great to meet you both. I think it’s great what you’re doing.
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