Whilst not an engineer, Kirsten believes that her ability to look at complex issues objectively and from a different angle offers a point of difference for herself when meeting with clients.
She says, “I graduated University with a Visual Arts degree before completing a post grad in Business Communications. From there, I joined the public sector where I worked my way into policy advisory for infrastructure, and the rest is history.”
Having worked in the Advisory team since she started with the firm, it has meant that she has had the opportunity to work across all areas of our business.
“I have loved the dynamic aspects of my role since the day I started with the firm,” says Kirsten. “With every day different to the last, I have been able to deliver amazing projects for our clients that benefit some of the most rural communities right across Australia.
“With every experience comes opportunity. I now spend a lot of time encouraging younger members of the firm to seek those out for themselves.”
A leader of people, Kirsten is passionate about remaining adaptive and flexible to meet our clients’ needs.
She says, “Over the course of my career I have observed and learnt from leaders, both good and bad. This is so I can cherry pick the qualities I want to own so that I can become the best leader I can be.”
Forging her way into the industry over the last 20 years, Kirsten has been resilient in the wake of change. “So much has changed in terms of acceptance and equality in the workplace,” she says.
“Everyone deserves to be heard and that is why I am so passionate about it.
“Often the only female at the table, I don’t believe assumptions should be made when it comes to things like gender, age or ethnicity. I got involved in and chaired our Diversity Council to make a difference. As a leader, I think that influence and change needs to come from the top down. Ultimately, we are the ones that make the decisions.”
At home, Kirsten has managed to juggle her family time to great effect. She has utilised WSP’s flexible working arrangement for several years now and believes that it is about making it work for you, your team and your clients.
She says, “As a manager of people, I set the standard. My team know the days that I am not working, and they know who to contact and where to go should something come up. There are also others in the team enjoying the same flexibility in their roles, so it is a fair balance regardless of seniority.”
Managing career and family means down time can be hard to find, however Kirsten still finds time to escape the hustle and bustle of Brisbane to head across the border to Northern NSW. “I enjoy quality family time and when we get the opportunity to head away for a few days, then we jump at it.
“Life is about enjoying the simple things”
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