Interview with Hollie Woodard

Project Manager at VolkerRail UK

What does your role consist of and what is a typical day?

My role consists of managing multi-disciplinary projects. I am currently working on an exciting scheme, looking to increase the train service frequency between Coventry Station and Nuneaton Station from hourly to half hourly and provide shuttle services between Coventry Station and Coventry Arena Station to support major events.

A typical day will find me working from our Birmingham office, reviewing project deliverables against agreed timescales, reviewing design documentation and working with a wide variety of my peers to plan and safely deliver our projects. I will also attend progress meetings with our client and delivery partners and oversee the planning of early scheme activities such as site surveys.

In your career, what is the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Changing my role twice. When I decided I needed a change and more of a challenge I moved from a commercial role as a Quantity Surveyor into a role as an Assistant Project Manager. I was prepared to start from a junior role again to allow me to progress. Then more recently I have moved within the business to our major projects division which is a larger team with more reporting lines. Again this meant having a reduced amount of responsibility and being less involved in overall team decisions but ultimately, in the long term, it offered me overall betterment and increased progression opportunities.

In your opinion, what is the recipe for success – for a team, career, or otherwise?

For me, a recipe for success individually and in teams, is about having integrity, delivering on any promises you commit to and generally doing what you say you are going to do. If everyone performs in their individual roles, then everyone succeeds and the team succeeds. Oh and a good gender balance helps!

What advice would you give to other women working in rail?

Lead by example. Behaviours are mirrored so remember to behave in a way you want others to behave. Do your best, stay true to yourself and it will get noticed. Grab opportunities with both hands and remember, there are no jobs just for boys.

 

Interviewed August 2016