International Women's Day 2017 Staff Profiles
08 March 2017
In recognition of International Women’s Day, we caught up with a few of our female staff members who work in typically male dominated areas of the business. These women have shared their stories below, and are paving a way for more women to work in the industry
Debbie Findlay - Acting Regional Director (Eastern Region)
VicRoads has been instrumental in both my career & personal development. I have always grabbed opportunities to stretch myself in roles that I ordinarily wouldn't have considered myself to have had experience in, but have learnt that many of my skills are transferrable and that people are typically very willing to share and support you to be successful.
For example, I started at VicRoads almost five years ago and have recently been successfully appointed to the role of Regional Manager - SprayLine Road Services. However, I’ve also previously acted in the Regional Manager role on secondment for the past 9 months, and am actually currently Acting Regional Director - Eastern Region, based out in Traralgon until the end of March.
VicRoads secondment policy provides an amazing and unique opportunity to expand your skills in areas you otherwise may never get an opportunity to try and that you would rarely see in the private sector. I believe VicRoads also provides enormous support to staff to grow their skills through training and mentoring programs and has a genuine interest in growing and developing its staff.
I love working with people to assist them in identifying their own transferable skills and natural preferences and potential career opportunities which lend themselves to those skills. I genuinely want others to enjoy their job as much as I do.
To women out their starting out in their careers, believe in yourself…BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Ask plenty of questions and do what feels right for you.
Gina Ding – Senior Project Development Engineer (Metro South East)
The overall support from VicRoads for a female who works in a male dominant industry has increased so much in the recent years, especially in the area of flexible working arrangements and work/life balance.
I’m a Senior Project Development Engineer in the Metro South East Region and this year is my 10th anniversary working at VicRoads. Recently, I also completed an 11 month secondment in Metropolitan Projects Central, managing the Punt Road 24/7 Clearway project from the planning, development to the implementation.
The best part of my job is that I know what I do will have some impact on other people’s lives, small or big! It brings a smile to my face when I know people’s lives will be improved by my work; whether it be making it safer to cross the road or quicker to arrive somewhere.
My advice to women starting out in their careers is to try to find a mentor or a senior person that you trust and can talk to, whether it’s about your work or personal life, as those conversations I had guided me through some hard times.
Jan Wong - Senior Traffic Engineer (Metro North West)
The wide diversity of works in VicRoads had allowed me to develop my traffic engineering skills in different areas; I was provided secondment opportunities to do traffic signal designs, manage traffic movements during major events including the Grand Prix, and involved in major transport projects like the Metro Tunnel Project.
The support I receive from VicRoads is enormous. I used to work at the Sunshine office 2-3 days a week while reporting to a team in Kew. My current team in Sunshine has provided me with great support as well. I work four days a week now during school terms and will work five days a week during school holidays.
Having these flexible work arrangements really help in supporting my young family and to maintain a work life balance.
I am a Senior Engineer in the Transport Integration team in the Metro North West Region and have been working in VicRoads for 9 years. My role is to provide advice to internal and external stakeholders for traffic operations and road access arrangement matters.
Sarah Morris – Team Leader Road Safety and Traffic Engineering (North Eastern Region)
My substantive role is Project Coordinator in the Safe System Road Infrastructure Program (SSRIP) team, which involves coordinating several different road safety infrastructure programs to ensure that the funding goes to the right projects and that the road safety benefits are maximised.
However I've just commenced a 4 month secondment as Team Leader Road Safety and Traffic Engineering in North Eastern Region which sees me managing a team of 5 people who have a range of responsibilities, including developing road safety projects.
Over my time at VicRoads I've been given the opportunity to act in several different roles. The secondments have given me an opportunity to develop new skills, learn about different aspects of the work VicRoads is responsible for, as well as increasing my professional networks. These aspects have all lead me to develop in my career.
I've also been lucky enough in my time at VicRoads to work with a number of women in more senior roles. In fact, I've had a woman as my line manager for the majority of my time at VicRoads. They have all encouraged me to take up opportunities and having women visible in senior technical roles throughout my career has meant that I've never doubted that I can also progress to similar positions.
For women starting out in their careers, my advice is don't be afraid to speak up and add your opinion to the conversation. You have just as much right to talk as anyone else and you may add a new perspective.