What does your role entail?
As a Project Manager I am responsible for the delivery of the building to agreed time, cost and quality standards, together with resolving buildability issues and managing overall construction, whilst maintaining open client communications and providing leadership to the team.
What this really means is I am constantly on the go – doing lots of talking, engaging with many different stakeholders and project participants whilst having to think 10 steps ahead to ensure we remain on track and aligned to project objectives.
How did you navigate your career?
I started as a cadet working for a Tier 1 company juggling work and uni. Not too long after university I joined Multiplex and have progressed through various site based and new business based roles. I have always enjoyed the satisfaction of delivery, so I am back leading the delivery of a project now. I have always been an incredibly focused and driven person, who has set clear goals and career aspirations. I learnt early on that people aren’t mind readers, so I found speaking openly to my managers, mentors and sponsors gave them clarity about my aspirations for growth.
What has been your career highlight?
The thing I love most about the Construction industry is the opportunities we have to shape and influence people’s lives, and working at Multiplex I have been afforded many career highlights delivering complex projects that shape our future. Every project completion is a ‘career highlight’ and my most recent project involved the design and construction of a purpose built facility focusing on collaboration and integration for NSW Health and the 10 co-locating entities. The project was delivered ahead of time, on budget and the feedback from our Client has been overwhelmingly positive.
What has been your biggest challenge?
In the early years of my career I found it particularly challenging when peers and subcontractors would question my capability. Of course this still sometimes happens, but I’ve persevered and built resilience, and have earned the respect of my peers and management team to help manage that challenge.
What do you think is the most important change happening in the construction industry?
Greater female representation in all parts of the supply chain – this includes from client, to contractor and subcontractor. If we are going to see real change (including retention and workforce continuation), the whole industry needs to participate and drive change. I personally believe that if the ‘industry’ is aligned and has greater representation of women in all parts, this will influence and improve many fundamental elements including quality, productivity, innovation, sustainability and work-life balance.
What would be your one piece of advice for other women aspiring to progress in the construction industry?
Be your authentic self, value what you bring, and back yourself. A career in the construction industry is incredibly rewarding. It’s a dynamic industry with every part offering unique opportunities and challenges. And don’t forget to speak up for what you want – my advice is ‘be overt!’
What are your aspirations for the future?
To have an industry which is an attractive and a mentally healthy place for everyone to work, and that promotes and welcomes diversity to drive a better and more sustainable future. In my current role as Vice President of the National Association of Women in Construction NSW I would like to drive greater outcomes to engage with industry (both Government and Private sector) to see greater participation of Women in all levels of our industry focusing on attracting, recruiting and retaining.