Tell us about yourself…
I am a Civil Engineer by trade, having studied at Imperial College London.
I became Chartered in 2015.
I have worked for a designer at Mott MacDonald, a contractor at Bam Nuttall and now a client with TfL.
I currently work for London Underground with the Power & Cooling Upgrades section. This is project based work to ensure there is enough power for the new line upgrades.
I work in the Construction Team where my role is currently Interim Senior Construction Manager. It involves being the lead contact for all H&S related queries as well as reviewing the constructability of design work.
What factors did you consider when joining the railway industry?
I enjoy the railway industry because my work directly impacts the public.
It is a dynamic environment with many constraints making it interesting and every project different.
What in rail are you passionate about and what motivates you to put forward your greatest effort?
I am passionate about making the public’s journeys better: safer, quicker and cooler.
I always strive to be the best I can be.
What aspects of the job do you find the most challenging and rewarding?
The most challenging aspects of my job can be made into the most rewarding when I manage to overcome them!
More particularly, within London Underground there are so many operational constraints that even the simplest job has to be carefully planned and executed.
What has been your biggest success to date and what contributed to that success
A couple of years ago I was part of a team that installed a unique solution on the London Underground network. St Paul’s is the first site where cooling has been provided directly to a platform. Our team were client, designer and principal contractor and it was the teamwork which lead to the successful delivery.
Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years’ time?
I would like to like to manage more people and help them develop within their careers.
The construction industry is behind in terms of attitude towards personal development.
What do you think the rail industry could improve to support and attract more women within the sector?
I don’t think the problem is attracting women but keeping them within the workforce.
This is a greater problem than simply within the rail industry and is linked to a lack of flexible working.
Also, we need more positive female role models in senior positions and I am of the controversial opinion that the only way to influence this quick enough is through positive discrimination.
What would be your advice to young women entering the industry?
My advice to young women is that there are many opportunities out there so grab them!
I would encourage work experience within the sector to help the younger generations become aware of the huge variety of job types available within the sector.
How will you use your success as a winner to promote rail to young girls and women?
I hope by going to work and doing my best every day I prove that women can do the job just as well as men and that a diverse workplace has benefits of a wealth of ideas.
Do you have a role model and, if so, who and why?
It is a cliché but my Mum. She took a long career break to bring me and my sister up but has fought her way back into Senior Management within the workforce. She is a strong feminist who has never shied away from being honest with us about the difficulties of balancing work and family life but she has succeeded at both!
What are your interests/hobbies outside of rail?
My daughter is 18 months old so all my spare time is spent entertaining her!
Interviewed August 2017