What does your role entail?
As a project manager, my role requires me to provide overall project leadership to the team from design to construction as well as technical advice to ensure dependable delivery of the project. By developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders it also assists with the strategic planning, operational delivery and issue resolution during the construction in order to create a positive project culture and developing young engineers.
How did you navigate your career?
I began my career at Fulton Hogan as a graduate and have worked on a variety of projects as I progressed through the company. I have been exposed to different project opportunities which assisted me in developing my portfolio ranging from a graduate engineer working on a water pumping station in regional Victoria to a structural project engineer working on widening an iconic bridge in Melbourne and now a project manager working on the high risk level crossing removal project. Throughout my career development I have forged strong relationships with mentors who have enabled me to believe in my skill set and give me confidence to take new opportunities and step into the next role.
What has been your career highlight?
My career highlight was being part of the team working on the EJ Whitten Bridge on the M80 Western Ring Road. The project was technically challenging and was innovative during the build. Spanning over a deep valley and with a limited construction footprint on a live freeway, it challenged the team to approach the build in unconventional and innovative ways.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is the imposter syndrome. As a woman I am constantly second guessing my ability and skill set and concerned with failing particularly in a leadership role. However with self-assessment and also supportive mentors I have learnt that I am just as capable as my male colleagues.
What do you think is the most important change happening in the construction industry?
The most important change is the movement and recognition of women in senior construction management. There is a large presence of women in senior management roles in finance, communications, HR, however women are not as recognised in construction. It is a slow process, however it is great to see the recognition so that we can continually inject new ways in construction.
What would be your one piece of advice for other women aspiring to progress in the construction industry?
I would advise them to take every opportunity that is given to them whether it be big or small. Every little bit of contribution counts to changing the perception of women in construction and prove that diversity in this industry is a positive thing and not out of the norm.
What are your aspirations for the future?
My aspirations for the future are to be among one of the women ‘you can see’, so that others can see it as an acceptable and positive thing for women to not only be a part of the industry but there are opportunities to lead in construction.