Why a Career Free of Bias Should be Our End Goal

Originally from Brazil, Vivian Furtado, a project engineer in our Resources team, joined WSP in early 2019.

With an insatiable attitude to chase what she wants, Vivian started with the firm as a young professional armed with qualifications in engineering and management, work experience in Belgium and a career that began at 18 years of age.

 

She says, “In Brazil, the education system works a little differently to what it does here. Whilst I was attending university full-time in the evenings, I was also able to work full time in a similar field to what I am now due to my technical degree completed concurrently with high school.”

 

A self-confessed ‘nerd’, Vivian knew that through her love of maths and problem solving that she would become an engineer, but the road taken into the exact stream of engineering would be less clear. “Whilst I was living and studying management in Belgium, I was working as a structural engineer on the technical side,” she explains.

 

“I knew pretty quickly that this wasn’t for me, and I decided I wanted to be a project manager that forms and develops mutually-beneficial relationships with clients and the project team.”

 

Australia is making progress, especially in terms of flexible work arrangements, but we still have a way to go in terms of eliminating biases and having balanced teams to achieve balanced outcomes.
Vivian Furtado Project Engineer

 

 

With a diverse array of skills and experience, a chance meeting with Gerard Ryan, our Regional Director for Queensland led her to a career at WSP. Currently seconded to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland, Vivian has embraced the opportunity to learn in a new field.

 

“I’m the kind of person who loves to be thrown in the deep end, that's how I thrive” admits Vivian. “Working on a software project that will change the way society works in the future is exciting, fast-paced and extremely fulfilling.”

 

Having lived in four different countries, and being in Australia for almost four years, Vivian understands the intricate differences in cultures and how this plays a role in the diversity and inclusion agenda.

 

She says, “Pursuing a career free of bias should be the end goal for every individual. Essentially this means, equal opportunities for everyone, where promotions and careers are chosen on merit rather than gender or other biases.

 

“I believe Europe is leading the way when it comes to gender balance across STEM professions and other geographies have much to learn from them.

 

“Australia is making progress, especially in terms of flexible work arrangements, but we still have a way to go in terms of eliminating biases and having balanced teams to achieve balanced outcomes. Hopefully, through great management and leadership, we can all align to positively influence the rate of change!”

 

Enjoying what life brings to a new Australian, Vivian loves getting around and exploring our beautiful national parks and coastline. She adds, “Nothing beats a nice weekend away off-roading and discovering new places. My favourite to date has been Fraser Island, I recommend everyone head there to check it out!”

 

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