Based in WSP’s Sydney office, Shinta Kirpalani spends her working hours as a Project Finance Administrator for our Property and Buildings sector.
Hailing from a business accounting background, Shinta admits that what mattered the most to her when she was choosing an industry to work in, was culture.
“I chose the engineering field because other than the fact that every company needs finance people, the culture in this field is much more close-knit, and as soon as I arrived it felt like home. There's a sense of community.
“I worked in the legal industry for one year and I didn't enjoy it, I feel more at home here.”
Diversity is important for maintaining a respectful and stimulating work environment.
During her tenure at WSP, Shinta has been a passionate member of the Visibility and Inclusion in the Built Environment (VIBE) committee.
VIBE is helping the firm to develop an inclusive environment to enable LGBT+ staff to reach their full potential and feel comfortable at work.
Shinta says, the impact that having such a culture in the workplace can be an absolute game changer for a person’s career path and overall wellbeing.
“I come from the background where identifying as LGBT+ isn’t fully accepted,” says Shinta. “I empathise with young people who feel scared to bring their whole selves to work.
“I have been in that position, and I know how liberating it is to find a safe space where everyone can be themselves.”
Diversity is fundamental to attracting and retaining the best talent.
Trend Leaders in Diversity
Shinta walks the talk when it comes to diversity and inclusion. On top of her work with VIBE she has also been heavily involved with Out for Australia (OFA).
In November 2019, WSP became the first engineering firm ever to partner with OFA – an organisation that supports aspiring LGBT+ professionals as they navigate their way through the early stages of their careers.
As 2020 sets into full swing, Shinta is over the moon that our two organisations will be coming together to march in the 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) parade!
The SGLMG is one of the oldest continuously operating LGBT+ organisations in Australia. Since its origins, SGLMG has evolved to prioritise a strong focus on celebration while maintaining a commitment to social justice for LGBT+communities.
“It’s great to see WSP being a trailblazer with OFA. After we announced our partnership, other engineering companies have started to follow suit.”
This year, OFA have generously offered space for WSP employees to join their Mardi Gras float and march in the world-famous parade on 29 February.
“It makes me proud,” says Shinta. “Nothing can give you more pride than knowing that your company is a trailblazer for diversity and inclusion.”
“When we say we have space for everybody, we mean it.”
WSP and Out for Australia will be hosting the Engineering: A Hetero/Cis-normative Environment event on 26th February.
Held in WSP’s Sydney office, the event will centre around the importance of how inclusive workplaces, with a focus on LGBT+ professionals can improve staff well-being, productivity and collaboration.
Find out more and register for the event here.
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