BEST WOMAN STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Sallyanne Lewis Associate Director, BuroHappold
support was particularly special at the award dinner when I was congratulated on my win, and I am looking forward to developing the friendships and contacts I made through this process. Recruiting and retaining diversity within the construction industry is essential to enrich engineering practices, but also to reflect the diversity of the clients we work with. The WICE Awards is an excellent vehicle towards this and I am so proud to be part of something that not only recognises women’s contribution to construction and engineering, but also celebrates it without apology. The WICE awards has been a really great experience for me, although I cannot pretend it has not been hard work - and a little nerve-wracking along the way. However, to misquote Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing is worth doing unless it means effort”. The awards have given me three main areas of opportunity: developing a female network, being introduced to panel experts and taking time to self-evaluate. I met many inspiring women finalists at the judging day. I was awed by what people are achieving, but (also felt a great sense of support and comradeship - with a little healthy competition thrown in to keep us all sharp. It was great to swap stories and realise how much we all had in common, both at work and in family life. This
Listening to the panel discussions on the judging day was incredibly rewarding. It felt like the sessions flew by. I am definitely going to be investigating neuroscience in the workplace and reading more about the very inspiring Sandi Rhys-Jones. I found it really helpful to hear from successful women and men in the industry about how they have navigated their way to success. It was interesting to hear that it isn’t always a straight path, but that the challenges can make it more interesting and open up alternative opportunities. In the future, I would hope to become one of those panel members. However, I think the most rewarding part of the WICE Awards has been taking the time to evaluate myself. Like everyone, I lead a busy life and often jump from one challenge to another without taking the time to step back. This process has forced me to do just that, and I am grateful. By reflecting on my achievements to date, I’ve realised how much I have achieved both in my career and outside. It has allowed me to assess where I am and what I would like to change. Most importantly, it has made me think deeply about where I want to go, what I would like to do and how I would like to get there. I don’t have all the answers yet, but I know that one of my priorities is going to be looking at how to help and inspire future engineers.
THE EUROPEAN WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING AWARDS >> MAY 2019
2019 WICE awards and summit summary.