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If you're serious about achieving gender equality -

Empower your Early Career Women.

The First Five program is designed to meet the unique development needs of women navigating their first five years of a career in male-dominated industries.
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Early Career Women face numerous obstacles in the workplace.

And gender is only one of them.

Being new to any situation can shake a person's self-confidence. But women navigating their first five years in a male-dominated workplace have multiple layers of "new" to overcome.

Gen Z in a Gen X World

Today's Early Career Women approach their work from a different perspective and with different values than their older colleagues and managers.

When you're younger than everyone around you, it takes significant courage to offer an alternative opinion or idea, and taking the initiative can feel like stepping on people's toes.

New to the World of Work

Early Career Women aren't just new to their specific job; they're new to full-time, professional work. In our post-COVID landscape, that's an especially daunting challenge.

Having not yet developed effective communication and conflict resolution skills, they can feel unsure about how to advocate for themselves in a professional setting.

Outnumbered by Men

In traditionally male industries, women are typically in the minority, so they feel like outsiders from the start. They're navigating an environment designed by men for men.

Culture has imbued them with limiting beliefs about where they do and don't belong, so they frequently resist sharing their ideas. Often, they don't realise gender bias is a contributing factor.


With proper support Early Career Women break through barriers. 

And you get a more robust pipeline of female talent.

When you develop Early Career Women in accordance with their unique needs, they're more likely to stay, grow, and advance. And because women employees attract more women employees, your intentionality results in a pipeline rich with female talent from front line to middle leadership to the C-Suite.

Investing in Early Career Women is good for them and for your business.

But most development programs miss the mark.

Retaining Early Career Women requires meeting them exactly where they are. But most "women's programs" are geared for those with far more life and career experience. And they're the first to acknowledge that enrolling them in "leadership courses" before they're ready is putting the cart before the horse. 

Early Career Women tell us they need training and support in three areas:

  • fortify their self-belief so they can speak up, work through challenging situations, and pursue career progression.
  • develop supportive working relationships, influence others toward positive outcomes, and create meaningful connections.
  • derive a sense of belonging and support alongside other women who are also navigating male-dominated workplaces.

When early career women have the self-concept, skills, and peer support they need to own their role, they do.

That's what the First Five Program facilitates.

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 "At Urban Utilities I’ve had a number of early career women from my team complete the program. They really enjoyed it and are still getting so much value from it.  There is not much else available that is similar to this for the them so great to see a program dedicated to this stage of career.

Essential to support, encourage young women early on in their careers to build their confidence and continue to fan the flames!”

Dr Sonja Toft, Manager Process Engineering Resource Recovery, Urban Utilities


The First Five Program

The program is structured to add support, not stress.

Phase 1: Group Coaching

8 Weeks, no more than 3 hours a week

To facilitate open, honest conversations about vulnerable topics, First Five Program cohorts are limited to 30 participants and includes:

  • Weekly 60-minute Guest Expert presentation and Q&A
  • Weekly 90-minute interactive group workshop session
  • A 30-minute one-on-one deep dive call with facilitator

All sessions are recorded and available in the First Five vault.



Phase 2: Insights for Employers

Live Presentation and Report for P&C / L&D / Managers

Employers in the fight for gender equality often feel frustrated because they don't know what they don't know. To help employers shape policies and procedures for their specific environments, facilitators distill key insights gleaned during the 8-week coaching program.

  • Develop a deeper understanding of early career women's challenges
  • Shape retention strategies in consideration of gender constructs
  • Open a dialogue with your young female talent to increase visibility of their thoughts and experiences

All information is de-identified to protect participants' privacy.



Phase 3: Community Support

12 Months of Community Access

Young women in male-dominated industries need to connect with other women facing similar challenges in the workplace. The First Five Community reduces isolation, bolsters confidence, and deepens participants' resource pool.

  • Monthly 90-minute virtual connection sessions
  • Quarterly 90-minute in-person meet-ups (QLD only)

Community participation is optional, but strongly encouraged.



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Investing in Early Career Women is good for them and for your business.

Tee them up for success with the right development at the right time.

First Five prepares them for mentorship.

Mentorships are powerful for women only after they've developed confidence in their current role and clarity about their future goals.

First Five offers more than a "women's program."

Early Career Women face specific barriers that tend to be overlooked in programs geared for women with more life and work experience. 

First Five gears them up for leadership.

Early Career Women are the first to tell us they don't feel ready yet for leadership training. They want foundational support to grow their confidence and communication skills first.

First Five readies them for advancement.

We all want women to advance to the C-Suite. To set them up for the best chance of success, they first need to be empowered with the right mindset, skills, and experience.

First Five isn't just for women in hard hats.

We welcome any woman-identifying person in their first five years of work in any male-dominated industry.


  • Graduates, Apprentices, and Direct Hires
  • Civil, Chemical, Mechanical, and Site Engineers
  • Project Managers
  • Environmental Officers
  • Legal, Marketing, Human Resources, Administration, and Finance


  • Construction and Infrastructure
  • Mining and Resources
  • Water, Energy, and Utilities
  • Transportation, Logistics, and Warehousing
  • Digital and Information Technology
  • Aviation and Defence

Coaching Topic Highlights

Module 1: Gender

  • (Un)conscious Bias
  • Performance v. Personality Analysis
  • Expectations, Adaptations, and Values

Module 2: Self-Belief

  • Self-Confidence
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Garnering Support

Module 3: Conflict

  • Managing Confrontation
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Personal and Professional Boundary-Setting

Module 4: Career

  • Pursuing Professional Development
  • Career Advancement
  • Promotions and Pay Raises

Module 5: Communication

  • Persuasive Dialogue
  • Clarity in Communication
  • Effective Negotiation

Module 6: Management

  • Navigating Complex Conversations
  • Giving Feedback to Superiors
  • Alignment Toward Objectives

Module 7: Networking

  • People Skills for Authentic Connections
  • Brokering Conversations
  • LinkedIn Strategy
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First Five is trusted by companies across Australia.

First Five is trusted by companies across Australia.

When women are more sure of themselves, they show up and kick goals.

That means businesses get the benefit of their full brilliance.

Increased their ability to communicate effectively with senior managers


Feel equipped to stand up for themselves and champion their ideas

Have new ideas for how to successfully navigate gender equality issues 


 Feel more confident to manage their fear of confrontation


 Feel equipped to advocate for their own career progression opportunities


Have increased their understanding of the motivations of others

Hear from First Five Participants.

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A selection of participants across multiple sectors.

Hear why they chose to complete the program, the impact its had, the program contents, lead facilitator feedback, advice they have for employers and other early career women. 

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Lucy - Environmental Advisor (Construction)

Less than 2 years in the construction industry after completing a 1-year grad program.

Sarah - Metallurgist (Mining & Technology)

3 years in industry after studying a Bachelors of Chemical Engineering and IT.

Jessica - Legal Counsel (Rail Infrastructure)

Moved into rail infrastructure after working in law firms.


Lucy - Environmental Advisor (Construction)

Less than 2 years in the construction industry after completing a 1-year grad program.


Sarah - Metallurgist (Mining & Technology)

3 years in industry after studying a Bachelors of Chemical Engineering and IT.


Jessica - Legal Counsel (Rail Infrastructure)

Moved into rail infrastructure after working in law firms.

More women means better business.

The pursuit of gender equality is complex - from recruitment challenges to successfully getting women back from maternity leave to historical  glass ceilings.

However, when leaders ask me what will create the strongest long-term change within their organisation, my answer never varies: 

Focus on keeping and empowering the young women you already have.

The truth is, a large reason we're in this position (still 100 years to equality!) is because we tend to take the earliest part of the pipeline for granted. When women who are new to their careers feel like valued contributors, they'll stay long enough to be promoted into leadership positions, they'll attract other women, and they'll want to come back from mat leave.

Is it really that simple? I believe it is. And when you see what your early career women can really do with the support of the First Five Program, you'll believe it, too.


Tanya Andrews, First Five Program Lead Facilitator

Founder of Trellis Collective, Girl Shaped Flames, and UNIQ You

Meet some of our barrier-smashing guest experts.

Emma Brand

Veolia, Country Director for Aotearoa New Zealand

Autumn Pierce

Gender Equality Expert

Lauren Mua

Senior Project Engineer, BMD Group

Daisy Ambach

Senior Project Engineer, Glencore MRM

Trang Pham

Engineer and DEI Advocate, Aurecon

Jane Lowney

Senior Director, Robert Walters


Investing in early-career women pays off.

First Five Program fee: $3,300 + gst per participant.  Discounts available for group bookings.

A gender-diverse staff means:

  • Increased productivity.
  • Accelerated innovation.
  • Improved retention.
  • Enhanced company culture.
  • Reinforced leadership pipeline.
  • And a more equitable workforce - and world.

The  Program Fee Includes:

Coaching Session

This call offers each participant the opportunity to share her unique challenges and goals with her program facilitator.

8-Week Group
Coaching Program

A combination of self-paced learning, large-group workshops, and small-group working sessions gives participants wrap-around education and support.

Employer Feedback Presentation

Through anonymised participant feedback, your organisation will glean insights to help you create a workplace culture that attracts and retains female talent.

12 Months of
Community Access

Monthly virtual and quarterly in-person networking sessions boost participants' confidence and keeps them connected to other women in the industry.

12 Months of
Learning Content

This ever-expanding vault offers participants continued professional development so they can grow their skills and maximise their potential for your organisation.

Achieving gender equality is complex.

Let's take the next step together.
Peruse the Full Prospectus

Download and share the First Five prospectus, which includes program contents, structure, and fees.

Ask us Your Questions

Book a 15 minute call to see if the program is right for your organisation, and to learn about group booking discounts.

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Register for Sept 2024

Our next cohort begins 9th September 2024 and registrations must be received by 9th August, 2024.

Register your employees

Your Early Career Women are an untapped resource.

When you invest in Early Career Women, your entire organisation benefits – from each of their individual contributions and from the collective power of having gender-diverse teams and leadership.

register employees

Trellis Collective acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.




For Early Career Women

First Five Program