2 July 2018 – This time last year Mikaela Addy didn’t know what to do next. Her BSc in maths and earth science at Waikato University was nearly complete, and she had no idea where it would take her.

A chance discussion with her flatmate led to a job she’d never considered, in an industry that she’d never thought about before.

Along with other high school and university students, she spent a day at Mercury’s Hamilton office and Karapiro hydro power station, part of the nationwide Girls with Hi-Vis initiative.

“Everyone at Mercury was so friendly, and I heard about the different ways that women working there got into their roles,” says Mikaela. “It suddenly felt achievable, and I realised that my study could be relevant to jobs in this area.”

After being encouraged to apply for a role as a summer intern, Mikaela ended up spending seven months working with Mercury’s Process Safety team designing and reviewing safety procedures around geothermal power stations.

She’s about to start a permanent job with global engineering firm WorleyParsons as a Graduate Safety and Risk Engineer.

“Without the Girls with Hi-Vis day I wouldn’t have even considered a career in engineering,” says Mikaela. “And I would not have this job without the experience I gained since working for Mercury.”

The benefit goes both ways, with Mercury building a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

“We want to show young women what it looks like to be an engineer or other technical roles at Mercury, and Girls with Hi-Vis gives us one way to do this,” says Marlene Strawson, GM People & Performance.

“We want to make sure the teams at Mercury include people with different backgrounds and experience, so the business can benefit from the range of ideas and thinking they bring.”

• On 28 June Mercury hosted around 40 students from Waikato Diocesan, Hamilton Girls’ High School, Te Wharekura O Rakaumangamanga, Wintec and University of Waikato. The students will visit our Hamilton office and Karapiro power station as part of Girls with Hi-Vis. They met women employed in technical roles including H&S manager, Geologist, Project Manager, Spot Trader, and Engineer.

• Learn more about Girls with Hi-Vis