What does your role entail?
As a Project Manager I am responsible for leading the delivery of a project, within time, cost, quality, sustainability and safety requirements and with due regard to the communities the project operates in.
How did you navigate your career?
I have navigated my career by being intentional with my career goals and investing in my personal and professional development. I targeted specific roles at different stages of my career attaining professional growth through work experience, interactions with others and formal education.
I’ve also dedicated time to work on my career and although I’m a structured person and like to work to a plan, I’ve always responded to unplanned opportunities or assignments which can accelerate my development and progression.
What has been your career highlight?
I have been fortunate enough to be part of some amazing projects, both in Australia and the United Kingdom. However, being part of the delivery team constructing the London Olympic Park, for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been the highlight of my career, so far.
Not only did I have the opportunity to deliver the infrastructure to host the Olympic Games, I also had the opportunity to convert the Olympic Park into a beautiful space, post-Games as my legacy for that community.
What has been your biggest challenge?
After spending 10 years in project management, I decided to shift towards a technical role as I wanted to get back to my engineering roots. I was also looking to become a chartered engineer and felt that I needed a role that would provide engineering challenges. I took on a role as the engineering lead for a new underground metro station in London, as part of the Northern Line Extension. The project certainly gave me the technical challenges that I was looking for. I pushed myself to bridge the gap in my technical knowledge by upskilling my competencies.
With the challenges faced on this project, I grew immensely- both technically and personally. Although I am back to leading the delivery of projects, my technical capabilities strengthen my aptitude as a project leader.
What do you think is the most important change happening in the construction industry?
The most important challenge is how the industry will respond to the emerging landscape of our future communities. Our industry is shaped by our societal needs, and where the landscape had once been predictable, COVID-19 has disrupted the way we live and work. With a surge in working from home or relocation to regional areas, we will need to rethink future infrastructure needs such as transportation, essential services and residential and commercial developments.
What would be your one piece of advice for other women aspiring to progress in the construction industry?
My advice is to be courageous with your career aspirations and connect with supporters who can influence opportunities for advancement or acceleration of your career. Form alliances with mentors or sponsors, they will help guide you or become your champion through the different stages of your career. The pivoting moments of my career were usually influenced by sponsorship.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To be impactful, influence change and drive sustainable outcomes for our communities by leading projects that do not compromise our future generations.