It may still be a man's world in many respects, but the influence of two female University of Wollongong academics in business and on society has received national recognition.
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper and Director of Innovation and Commercial Research Elizabeth Eastland have been listed among Australia's "100 Women of Influence".
More than 350 women from across the nation were nominated for the awards, run by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and only a handful from the university sector made it into the top 100.
In the midst of national debate on the status and treatment of women, Prof Raper said it was "very gratifying" to be included on the list alongside business entrepreneur and horse trainer Gai Waterhouse, philanthropist and former surfing champion Layne Beachley and Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott.
Prof Raper has an international reputation for her research into particles and for her innovative teaching methods, and is a role model for female engineers and academic leaders.
"Women of Influence is an important initiative as Australian women need to have good role models," she said.
"While there are a lot of opportunities for women, there's still a lot of implicit bias and women have it as much as men.
"It may not be conscious or deliberate but there's still assumptions that women can't perform as well as men - and I've faced that being a woman in a profession that's male-dominated [engineering].
"I think that while women fought for equality, we let go of the reins a bit in the '90s as we thought 'we've done it'. But we need to continue to be vigilant about it."
Ms Eastland is working to increase the number of women in another male-dominated profession - information technology.
With her all-female team, she has launched the iAccelerate business accelerator to boost economic growth in the region.
"Without question, sexism still exists - there's so few women in science, engineering and entrepreneurship," she said.
"Women, particularly in innovation and information and communication technology, know how many incredible barriers there still are for them to move forward.
"So I think it's wonderful to celebrate women of influence, to show women who put forward the effort that they are appreciated for trying to make a difference. I'm very honoured to be included."
Entries for the inaugural awards were invited in June across 10 categories. Prof Raper was a successful finalist in the public policy category and Ms Eastland in the local/regional category.
Jan Owen, the CEO of Foundation for Young Australians, won the overall Woman of Influence.