BEST WOMAN CIVIL ENGINEER AND A DISTINGUISHED WINNER
Tina Gunnarsson Temporary Works Engineer, Balfour Beatty
they can do 50% of the role, they will apply. Women will read the same job description, and only if they can do each and every single task that is listed, they will apply. This resonated deeply with me. I wondered if I had been missing out on 50% of opportunities by simply not considering them as opportunities that I was capable of saying yes to. So go for those opportunities.
What an incredible category to live up to. Every woman I met at the WICE Award Summit deserves an award. To have so much talent, enthusiasm and passion for construction in a single room is absolutely incredible. It is an honour to have the opportunity to meet so many inspiring people in one place. As a woman in engineering and construction, it is sometimes difficult to remember that you are in the company of female engineering talent. The WICE awards are a great reminder that we are in it together. My parents were the first I shared the news with after finding out I had been shortlisted. They have been incredibly supportive from the very first moment I decided to pursue engineering - despite not really understanding what I actually do, beyond ‘digging holes in the ground and filling them with concrete’. Winning this award provides affirmation that I made the right career choice – a decision I still sometimes question when my technical competence as a young female engineer is questioned. Many female engineers I have spoken to want the same thing - to be treated equally, and be given opportunities based on merit, not gender. My parents taught me to always say yes to an opportunity. The trouble is, opportunities are rarely just given to you. A lot of the time you have to create your own opportunities. I was once told that as a broad generalisation, men will read a job description, and if
Engineering is a fantastic tool for creating positive impact in the world around us. The highlight of my career to date has been working with the charity Bridges to Prosperity. I had the opportunity to travel to Rwanda to build a footbridge to provide a safe year-round crossing for 4300 people to access schools, hospitals and markets. It provided safe access to education for 800 children. Being able to use my engineering skills to create direct positive impact was an amazing, humbling and eye-opening experience. Your opportunities might look slightly different. They might look similar. I want to thank everyone who helped make Minigo footbridge a reality and everyone at Balfour Beatty who has empowered me to grow and develop professionally. Thank you to all the fantastic people who have supported me, believed in me and created opportunities for me along the way. I now aspire to create opportunities for others. To nominate, encourage and empower the people around me, and open up new avenues for them. I believe everyone is capable of making a change for the better; you just need a little bit of enthusiasm. I am by no means the best woman civil engineer. But I will always aspire to be. The definition of best will change and grow as I do, and I hope to take everyone along on this journey with me.
THE EUROPEAN WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING AWARDS >> MAY 2019
2019 WICE awards and summit summary.