I was caught off guard and surprised to have been asked to speak at the Women in FCERM event in Manchester in October and quickly said “yes” without thinking about what I was saying. Then I got home and started worrying, “what was I going to speak about?”, “what did I have to say?” It’s actually quite terrifying to have been given complete free reign.
Speaking about the personal juggles in my life as I try and manage my career and family may have been the easy option but actually, I think there’s a lot more to “Women in FCERM” than that and I decided not to make that a key theme of my presentation. Instead I choose to present a summary of my career to date, outlining how I have reached the position I am currently in and highlighting what I believe are the success factors that have enabled this.
- Taking pride in my work
- Building a network
- Trying new things
- Innovating and improving
- Creating opportunities
- Supportive line managers
There was a good number of people at the Manchester event in October and I enjoyed sharing the stage with Fay Bull (AECOM) and with Terry Fuller (CIWEM) and Vikki McCausland (Environment Agency). All three presentations were well received, each generating some great discussion during the networking times and at the end of the presentations (and in the bar afterwards).
I am proud to work for AECOM, a company that is making a stand and taking action on Diversity & Inclusion and in particular to lead a team which is two-thirds female. I am very lucky in that I don’t feel that my career has been limited, constrained or even affected by my gender but I know that others feel differently. Going forwards, I believe that the Women in FCERM network can be a support for us all, however we feel today, and look forward to future events and initiatives.