Calling Manila home, Kathleen joined the firm because of its reputation as a world leading consultant. She says, “At WSP there are always opportunities for professional development. Whether you are a graduate or a senior leader, the level of care the company has for its people is its best asset and a true reflection of its guiding principles.”
Working closely with our offices in Australia and New Zealand, Kathleen says, “Recently I’ve been collaborating on a major project with my colleagues in Brisbane. For me this is a great way to grow my technical capabilities and develop my communication skills. There is so much knowledge within the firm and collaborating with the engineers, associates, principals and directors in Brisbane motivates and inspires me.”
Having begun her career as a field engineer, Kathleen moved into sanitary science as applied to buildings with a desire to improve the natural environment. She says, “It saddens me to admit pollution within my country is everywhere. I want to help influence change and for me sanitation is just one of the many ways we can improve.”
“I believe if we can better convey waste as well as how we move water to and from buildings, we can go a long way to improving the health and wellbeing of locals as well as reducing pollution.”
Kathleen’s passion for the natural environment is not limited to her career. She says, “I love soaking up the natural beauty of the Philippines. I’m a keen hiker, recently I climbed to the top of Mt Pulag, Luzon’s highest peak and the third highest in the Philippines. Standing at nearly 3,000 metres above sea level, the mountain is known as the ‘sea of clouds’.”
Kathleen continues, “For me climbing is one of the best ways to reduce my stress and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I’d really like to gather a team from WSP and do something similar!”
So how can we improve gender balance?
Kathleen is a firm believer that to improve gender balance we need to provide our women with the confidence and empowerment to progress their careers in whichever direction they are passionate about. She says, “The male/female split in Manila is comparatively strong. However, I don’t think we are at liberty to accept this, there is always more we can do to help drive us towards a 50/50 state.
“I believe that if we put time into building the confidence of our female colleagues, we help to increase the number of women in senior positions. We can encourage them to be bold.
“If I were to look back at my time at university, I see another opportunity to create change. I would encourage all students to believe in their own ability. Providing strong influence and inspiration to female students is one way to boost their interest to engineering fields. If our students are instilled with the belief and confidence from a young age, we can help to inspire and attract more women to STEM., We need to keep this conversation going.”
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