“Let’s step-up what we can achieve for each other now and in the future.”
We talked to our NSW State Manager Sarah Stante on her journey as CJC Management’s #engineeringheroes.
What does Engineering mean to you?
I enjoy being able to contribute to the well-being of our community as the users of infrastructure, incorporating value for money solutions and innovative construction techniques. Engineers are problem solvers, and it’s exciting to find solutions to complex problems while collaborating with exceptional people! I am proud of my achievements in construction and when I was recognised with a NAWIC Award during a Brisbane-based project, it was an honour.
What are your hopes for the future of Women in Engineering?
I believe that a diverse workforce provides the best platform for business success. My hope is that as the percentage of women in STEM careers grow, so will the capacity to embrace change and recognise unique contributions.
I enjoyed studying science at school and found that engineering was a practical way to find solutions to societal issues – for me it was a growing concern for the future of the environment. I pursued my interest in environmental issues and completed a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree. My first on-site role combined environmental monitoring with site engineering. After my first concrete pour, I was hooked!
What is a typical day at work for you?
For most of my career I’ve worked on site delivering infrastructure projects, focusing on concrete structures and bridges. Today, I provide advice on project constructability to both government and industry clients, by looking wholistically at construction staging, traffic requirements, utility and stakeholder interactions, program and risk including workshop facilitation. I also support business operations in NSW, from recruiting to tendering, mentoring to business strategy.
What was an exciting project you worked on?
On the Cross City Tunnel, I was part of the team delivering the westbound exit cut and cover tunnel structures. We cut the intersection of Druitt St and Sussex St in half to complete the tunnel where it became too shallow to continue in rock. I gained so much experience from this project from concrete structures to major utility relocations, working in constricted city sites requiring smart traffic and temporary works solutions and the importance of collaborative teams.
Do you have any great career advice?
Not so much advice, but a great leadership example - a GM who visited site regularly knew everyone’s name and something about them, from the PM to the leading hand. It fostered a culture of being seen and belonging, which is so valued in an industry of mega-projects today.
Do you have any final words for fellow or aspiring women Engineers?
Working in construction is not an easy journey, with very few female role models. It is an honour to be considered an #engineeringhero, and I’m looking forward to encouraging fellow engineers in their journey. I am inspired by the new generation of engineers, like Zahra Khorami, who convinced her all-girls high school to add physics to the curriculum so she could study bio-medical engineering. My own children challenge me every day to re-write the diversity narrative with their passion for STEM and their unblemished expectations and limitless ideas for their futures. Let’s step-up what we can achieve for each other now and in the future.