In celebration of International Women’s Day and the theme of #InspiringInclusion, we spoke with our staff and asked them to reflect on who has inspired them and to offer some guidance for women starting their careers.

Which female figure has inspired you? 

Clare B., Principal Director: “In my working career I have been inspired by colleagues, male and female, and have always felt motivated by the team around me.  However, more widely I have always been a strong advocate of human rights and find the work that Malala Yousafzai has done, in the face of significant danger and adversity, awe inspiring.  She proves that with will, determination and empathy, that women can change the world.”

Christina C., Team Secretary: “My mum, dealing with work, 2 daughters, family, homework, always with a smile and being very sympathetic, always taking care of everyone and being on top of everything with an outstanding care. Mums are stars!!”

Sara T., Technician: “Inspiring me in life, in general, are all the women in science who were and are leading their fields, more so the ones in the past for their greater struggles (such as Marie Curie, Henrietta Swan Leavitt ect) and in recent times Andrea Ghez.”

Chelsea H., Graduate Engineer:  “Kathleen Lonsdale!  She was a professor of Chemistry but managed to pursue her interests when societal expectations and opportunities for women were very limited (she was born in 1903).

When she was a child she had to attend a boys’ school to study science and maths since they did not offer these lessons at her girls’ school, she graduated university with the highest marks in physics in 10 years, then she went on to discover benzene and hexachlorobenzene during her research whilst raising three children.

Her most important legacy was to encourage all women to believe in their potential.”

What advice can you share with the younger women starting their careers?

Technical Director: “My advice to young women starting their career in civil engineering would be the same as for anyone, give yourself time to develop a broad and strong technical base and this will stand you in good stead to adapt to whatever your career and life throws at you.”

Marta W., Project Engineer: “Believe in yourself, you know more than you think! Be curious and don’t hesitate to ask questions, regardless of how they may sound. Approach every challenge with positivity and a proactive mindset – it’s the key to moving ahead in your career!”

Heather B., Senior Engineer:  “When you are starting out, you are not expected to know all the answers, so never be embarrassed about asking questions – it can be difficult, but everyone starts somewhere and the people around you should want you to succeed! Also, get out on site as much as you can, as there is no better way of learning than seeing it with your own eyes.”

Kalenzi O., Graduate Engineer: “For younger women embarking on their engineering careers, I advise seeking mentorship and support and embracing confidence in your abilities”

Happy International Women’s Day!

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