“Our biggest achievements …”

June 2023
To mark International Women in Engineering Day 2023, we asked our people to reflect on their biggest achievements and favourite moments from the last 12 months …

International Women in Engineering Day

“My most proud moment this year was seeing one of the first projects I worked from concept stage and was heavily involved with at construction stage come to an end. It is such a great feeling improving an area where you live and feeling like you’ve added value. It also helped that we had such a great client and contractors who trusted and respected me.”
Ana Oliveira, design engineer

“My biggest achievement (in progress) is learning to let go of perfection and not being afraid of sharing my ideas. As I’ve continued to develop in my role, I’ve really enjoyed reaching out and making more connections with other designers.”
Shingi Tarirah, senior engineer

“A truly rewarding moment of my year so far was being selected as a finalist in the WICE awards. It was really special to see so many women at a construction event lifting each other up and supporting one another. Hopefully, a snapshot of what this industry will look like in the future.”
Florence Medforth, design engineer

“Attending the topping out ceremony for Talgarth Road Hotel was my favourite moment from the past year. It was the first project I worked on as an engineer so seeing it at structural completion gave me a real sense of accomplishment and made me realise what I’m capable of achieving.”
Zahra Alzubaidi, graduate engineer

“Coming back to work has been challenging: constantly trying to prove you can do it (especially to yourself) can be exhausting and distracting. But I suppose I love a challenge and this one has been pushing me to embrace the imperfections and uncertainties of this ‘working-mother’ journey.”
Joana Semiao, design engineer

“My Proudest moment — seeing the WW team submit and present Our Route to Zero at the ASBP awards, with all of its complexities, challenges and difficult conversations. This continues every day through our commitment to the outcomes, laser focus on our projects and commitment to changing the industry.”
Kelly Harrison, director, board member

“Finishing university and stepping into my full time job in engineering.”
Mayda Ucur, graduate engineer

“My achievement is having a full time job, being a parent who’s always at the school gate, doing a master’s degree, being a class representative at my son’s school, oh and being part of an incredibly important book club (haha). The life juggle many women do so well and much of the time goes unnoticed, but I couldn’t do without the understanding and support of Seb and Mark!”
Rebecca Matthews, associate director

“Jumping into a new industry, I have learnt to be open and understand how my creativity can be applied to things I hadn’t thought of before. My biggest challenge this year has been pushing my skill set to create my largest graphic backdrop yet for the Footprint+ event. I feel lucky to be a part of such a welcoming and supportive team.”
Sophia Poli, marketing consultant

“I recently changed job and got my first time Senior Engineer role in an outstanding company in London. Learning to balance work life, commute and mamma’s duties is challenging but extremely rewarding. At first, I was not sure I could handle it but now I feel like I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”
Miriam Spatafora, senior engineer

“Over the past year at Whitby Wood, one of my proudest achievements has been developing my sustainable construction skills. As we continue to lead the way on accountability and industry pivots to join us, it excites me to think of all the amazing projects we can lead on.”
Isabella Ponton, design engineer

“A big achievement I’m proud of from this year is passing the IStructE’s Certificate in Structural Behaviour course on my first try, despite having not done any technical work in over a year and a half. It showed me what I could achieve when I challenge myself.”
Fiona Namale, graduate engineer

“For me keeping the balance between enjoying being part of WW and demanding motherhood is the main achievement for last year. On a side note, the roller coaster of constant solution solving process gives me energy to carry on with a challenging industry ahead.”
Mihaela Munteanu, senior engineer

“Starting a new job at Whitby Wood and finding my ground as an engineer and a woman, taking pride in my journey of 10 years in the UK.”
Amna Zaidi, graduate engineer

Read about why we publish our gender pay gap analysis
Mind the Gap by Sebastian Wood
first published by The Structural Engineer, June 2023