BEST MALE MENTOR
Vishwas Pahariya Rail Infrastructure Director (South), Arcadis
I have previously shied away from pursuing individual awards, and I am so glad to have made this step. On the morning the announcements were due, I felt nervous and tried to delay the inevitable, despite my fingers itching to check my emails. I summoned the courage to check my emails, and I saw the congratulations message from one of my mentees! My family were the first to know that I had made it through as one of the finalists. Their active support and help were one of the reasons behind my success. I personally thanked Irum, who was behind my nomination, Astrid, my line manager, as well as Zoe, my coach. I am proud to have the opportunity to be working with these great women, whom I immensely admire and respect for their professionalism. All the mentors nominated by colleagues, mentees or organisations are winners. It recognises the fact that we are making a positive difference in the life and career of our mentees. I am thrilled to have won this award and it is one of the key accolades of my career thus far. Being the eldest of five brothers, I give credit to my parents and grandparents who shaped and helped me to develop my natural mentoring skills from a young age. My siblings could not escape from being my early mentees. According to the Women’s Engineering Society, only 11% of the engineering workforce is female. The encouraging part, however, is that more than 84% are either happy or extremely happy with their career choice. This award has given me the fantastic opportunity to be a male ambassador and to help promote engineering as a career of choice among females as well as to support
the development and progression of those who do choose this as their career. The awards process is a catalyst to bring like-minded professionals together and has given us a precious opportunity to use the power of collectiveness to act as role models so that we can help to improve the gender balance and diversity within an industry dominated by males. Within Arcadis UK, we are fully committed to tackling the gender imbalance across our workforce and to create a great workplace for women to excel. With this in mind, we have defined a shared goal of 30% representation of women at senior job levels by the end of 2021. Personally, I am committing to drive this at individual team level to make them more balanced. It’s been a fantastic experience from the very first day of being nominated to this proud moment of receiving an award. The nomination process for this award has helped me to reflect and articulate on the power of mentoring, my own approach and style and how I have been able to influence the professional and personal lives of several people during the 23 years of my career. The judging day was an invaluable experience for me. Being with a cohort of both male and female mentor finalists gave us the chance to learn from each other and refine our own individual approach. I have been consciously promoting the nomination of women for various awards. From one female WICE finalist from my team in 2018 to four in 2019, and sixteen overall finalists from Arcadis reflects the significant commitment we have made as a business to promote women in engineering and construction. This is a fantastic way to recognise, reward and celebrate the talent. This whole experience has further reinforced the notion that ‘mentoring is just the right thing to do.’
THE EUROPEAN WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING AWARDS >> MAY 2019
2019 WICE awards and summit summary.