Daracon Group is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, including its support for women in construction. That's why we are celebrating International Women in Engineering Day on June 23. This day is dedicated to shining a light on women in engineering and their contributions.
The theme for this year's event revolves around highlighting the best, brightest, and bravest women in engineering. These women are the ones who #MakeSafetySeen and are actively contributing to building a brighter future.
To gain some valuable insights, we approached three of our women in engineering at Daracon and asked them about their journeys.
Q.) Engineering can be found in almost everything around us, how do you ensure safety is seen when delivering the work you’ve been involved with at Daracon?
Anita - Safety should be an integral part of the engineering design process. Engineers should consider safety factors and design solutions that minimize risks to users, operators, and the environment. This includes incorporating safety features, redundancy systems, and fail-safe mechanisms into the design. Effective communication and collaboration among the engineering team, contractors, and stakeholders are crucial for maintaining safety.
Neisha – Building strong relationships with the work crew to assist in building high levels of respect and expectations are vital. Leading by example, setting and maintaining high standards in safety, work quality and procedures and reinforcing a good culture onsite help to make safety seen. Finally, being adaptable and changing processes and methodologies to suit workers and the tasks at hand.
Scarlett - We conduct regular safety audits and inspections to assess and improve our safety practices, maintaining a high standard of safety throughout the entire project lifecycle. This allows us to address any safety concerns that may arise during the course of a project. Promoting collaboration and regular communication, ensures that everyone is aware of potential risks and can take necessary precautions to mitigate them.
Q.) We know the best engineering solutions are the result of collaboration between diverse groups of people with different skillsets. What are the most important skills you’ve developed while working in engineering?
Neisha – Communication and teamwork are the basis of any successful project. Consulting with more senior personnel or colleagues within the industry and asking questions is always a good way to go. Don’t be rigid, think outside the square. Back yourself on well thought through solutions, discussing them with your peers before making the final call, if that’s what you feel is needed.
Scarlett – Engineering projects often involve evolving circumstances, unexpected challenges, and tight deadlines. The ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions and manage time efficiently is critical. Being adaptable, while maintaining strong communication has allows me to work collaboratively with diverse groups of individuals to get the job done.
Anita – Adaptability and continuous learning, as we all know engineering is a dynamic field, constantly evolving with new technologies, techniques, and industry standards. Engineers must possess the ability to adapt to change, think quickly on their feet, and display a genuine enthusiasm for learning, ensuring they remain up to date with the latest developments in their respective fields.
Q.) Engineers tackle some of the world’s biggest problems, from building roads and bridges through to ensuring we have electricity, clean water and exploring outer space! What would be your advice to other women looking to get into engineering?
Scarlett – I've always had an interest in science, maths and the environment, so a career in engineering allows me to combine my passions and interests. One key piece of advice that worked well for me was to take advantage of mentorship and networking opportunities. I joined Daracon in 2022 after meeting the recruitment team at my University’s Women in Engineering cocktail mixer. From there I was offered a part time role while I finish my studies, allowing me to gain experience working in the industry.
Anita – Wholeheartedly embrace the process and have unwavering trust in yourself. When the opportunity presents itself, have the confidence to back yourself and seize it with determination. When you genuinely believe in your abilities, you can attain a gratifying and fulfilling, lifelong career in this field.
Neisha – You are your number one, believe and back yourself and you will achieve anything you put your mind to. Don’t be afraid, work hard, challenge yourself, if you stuff up own it and build from it. Engineering is an extremely rewarding career, 98% of the guys you work with will be amazing, supportive and take you under their wing…don’t let the 2% ruin it. Speak up for yourself with unwavering courage.
Anita Handono | Trainee Engineer
Anita has always been fascinated by the different architecture and structures she discovered around the world. A curiosity for how they were built and what held them together led her to enrol in a Civil Engineering degree with the University of Newcastle.
When Daracon offered Anita a Trainee Engineer role, she jumped at the chance to gain on the job experience while studying and has gone on to work on Transport for NSW Nelson Bay Road and Glencore Bulga Nine Mine Creek.
Scarlett Nicholas | Environment Trainee
Scarlett has always been interested in the environment and sustainability. It was this, combined with a love for science and maths, which led her to an engineering pathway after school.
After joining the Daracon team as a third year Environmental Engineering undergraduate at the beginning of 2023, Scarlett has worked on some exciting projects including Transport for NSW Pacific Highway upgrade (Lisarow), Glencore Bulga Nine Mile Creek, Warnervale Industrial Park and residential subdivisions.
Neisha Lowe | Project Engineer
Neisha's love for engineering sparked in early high school and has grown ever since.
Working on some exciting projects at Daracon has allowed Neisha to move from a Site Engineer to a Project Engineer position since joining the team as a second year undergraduate in 2018.
Some of Neisha's Daracon projects have included Cottage Creek & Foreshore Promenade, Newcastle Innercity Bypass and the MACH Energy Rail Loop.