Beginning her career in Urban development and planning, Ms Myles was drawn into the transport side of our Australian business following the lure of major projects, a stronger focus on client centricity plus two separate university degrees, a master’s qualification and a relocation to Sydney in 2016.
Now a Principal Civil Engineer, Kristen says, “There is hardly a better city in the world right now for major transport projects than Sydney. In a little over two years, I’ve worked on the Woolgoolga to Ballina development, Australia’s largest regional infrastructure project and a major tunnelling project underneath Sydney Harbour.
“Having the opportunity to work on these infrastructure projects is amazing for many reasons. One, they are future-thinking and will leave a long-term legacy. Secondly, they provide an amazing benefit to the community. Thirdly, they are great avenues for professional development, given the magnitude of the projects and the variety of stakeholders Involved.
Professional Development and Gender Balance
Kristen believes there are multiple strategies that can be implemented to help promote a more balanced workforce. She says, “I think there is cause for creating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that give our people an aspiration for furthering their careers that focuses on professional development. By implementing the tools needed to achieve these KPIs, we can remove unconscious bias. This would enable us to ensure more women enter leadership positions and remain in the workforce.
“Secondly, I believe that we can promote engineering to females in a way that targets their natural caring instincts. As engineers, we develop projects to benefit people and communities. There is more involved in this process than maths.
“And lastly, I think businesses in general can do a better job of celebrating females currently in leadership positions. For me it is inspiring to see so many devoted professionals in top positions at WSP and really gives me something to aim for.”
Going Above and Beyond for Clients
Recently, Kristen began working within our Business Development team focusing on client centricity in addition to her current role.
She says, “I have always had a desire to learn more about client-focused thinking. This involves developing an understanding about who we are as a business, what we stand for, why we strategise the way we do, and how we earn the trust of our clients.
“Having been in this space for some time now, I have developed a more holistic understanding of the business and have also developed my leadership skills. While being involved in major bids can be challenging and intense, it is a fantastic learning experience all the same.”
Demonstrating her level of care for clients, Kristen even learnt how to play golf so that she could interact with them easier. She says, “I love sport and the outdoors so it was an enjoyable skill to pick up. Since moving to Australia, I have chased the sunshine and the amazing landscape – learning how to surf, going on hikes and even watching the cricket!
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