What does your role entail?
As a Construction Manager I am responsible for all aspects of delivering the project from procurement and planning through to execution. This includes leading the team of engineers to coordinate works with the field staff to ensure we hit out program dates whilst maintaining quality and controlling costs. My role also includes a lot of consultation with the client and stakeholders to ensure they are happy with how the project is progressing.
How did you navigate your career?
I started out in the Graduate Program with Abigroup working with some awesome people which gave me a great launch pad for the rest of my career. I have been working at Fulton Hogan for three years now since 2018.
I’m always happiest when I’m learning new skills – it’s something that I like to focus on when I look to what my next project will be, and I think it’s helped me develop into a well-rounded engineer. I’ve also always chosen to sacrifice the comforts of working in a city in order to embrace interesting roles and opportunities, even if they’re in a less than ideal working location. Some of the best jobs that I’ve been on have been in remote locations!
What has been your career highlight?
Being involved in my last project (Newell Highway Upgrade – Mungleback Creek to Boggabilla) was the highlight of my career thus far. I was involved in the project from start up to completion and together the team delivered it 6 months ahead of program and under budget as well. It was extremely satisfying to go through all the highs and lows of the project and see the brilliant outcome at the end.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been somewhat typical of the construction industry – coping with the nomadic lifestyle. Moving every 18-24 is a major headache (I’ve moved 8 times in the last 10 years!) and it can put a massive strain on work, health and relationships. That said it also means I get to live in lots of different parts of Australia so it’s not all bad.
What do you think is the most important change happening in the construction industry?
Since I started working in the construction industry I’ve noticed that things have been slowly changing for the better. When I first started it was frowned upon to even think about taking a holiday/using your annual leave!
I think the industry is finally acknowledging that working very long hours 6 days of the week is not a sustainable lifestyle for anybody, and certainly isn’t going to lead to a healthy productive workforce. There is now a much bigger focus on work life balance and mental health which will only mean good things for the industry going forwards.
What would be your one piece of advice for other women aspiring to progress in the construction industry?
My advice would be not to let the stereotypical image of “male dominated” construction turn you away from what is a very rewarding and challenging career. Construction is very much a place for women, and we need more of them!
What are your aspirations for the future?
My aspiration for the future is to foster a more positive, accepting workplace than the construction sites of old. I think we need to focus on looking after our people and creating an environment so that people enjoy coming to work and working hard. I’d also like to be in a position where I can offer mentorship to women in the industry.