As part of Public Sector People’s international women’s day campaign, we wanted to highlight some of the amazing women working within the public sector. Today we speak to Sadiya King, an engineer who is currently the team leader for Stormwater Design and Delivery working with one of our Sydney clients- the Northern Beaches Council. Engineering in Australia has always been perceived as a ‘masculine’ industry and in 2018 the proportion of qualified female engineers in Australia was at 12.4% But as Sadiya demonstrates below, there are lots of exciting things about the job that can appeal to both men and women. Not to mention, that when working within local government- engineers get the chance to give back to their local community and the environment. Read Sadiya’s thoughts on the industry below:
What drew you to working in engineering within local council?
Growing up, I had always wanted a career where I could strive to better myself whilst also leaving a lasting impact. Roles in local government provide a great opportunity to make a difference for the community and for the environment.
What do you like most about working as an engineering manager?
I love working with the talented and passionate team at the Northern Beaches Council, as well as the variety of matters that my team and I deal with. We can work on different things day-to-day which keep us engaged and ensure we’re always learning and developing our skillset. Tasks we look after can be anything from setting up hydraulic models to managing design processes to writing tender specifications to supervising construction on-site and ensuring environmental controls are adequately implemented. All whilst making sure our stakeholders are kept in the loop. We get to deal with it all!
Engineering is one of the most male-dominated industries in Australia and in 2018 an Engineers Australia report revealed that the proportion of qualified female engineers in 2018 was at 12.4%, why do you think this is?
I think that the engineering field has been dominated by men for such a long time, and definitely was a difficult field for females to enter when I began my career. My decision to be an engineer was largely due to my love for math and physics, which traditionally weren’t subjects young girls were perceived to be interested in. However, over my career, I have worked with and recruited some very bright and enthusiastic female engineers and I’m certain that female participation will continue to grow.
Why do you think working in engineering is a great career option for women?
I think the world is changing, as are the expectations of women in society.
Being an engineer requires attention to detail, multi-tasking, problem-solving and being tenacious, all traits that are synonymous with women. Engineering roles like many other roles are very rewarding, especially within local government where the impact of your hard work is realised by local residents and the local environment almost immediately. Which I think is a drawcard for both men and women.
What do you think makes an inclusive and welcoming workplace culture for both men and women? (you can use your current workplace as an example if you’d like)
Northern Beaches Council is a great place to work. We have both male and female leaders of all ages and background across the whole organisation. The council’s values (Trust, Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, Service and Leadership) are not just words, but are part of our everyday work.
What has been your proudest achievement within your career to date?
I have held leadership roles for a few years now and it has been very satisfying to see my team successfully stepping into leadership roles, grow and adapt to take on new challenges every day.
To find out more the exciting and diverse engineering opportunities available within the public sector, you can contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org