Audrey, Project Engineer at Freyssinet Australia. Interview.
How did you come up with the idea of being an engineer?
I’ve always liked action, being on the field, finding solutions… So to me, becoming an engineer in construction industry came up as evidence, project that I reinforced through internships in the VINCI Group during my studies. Moreover, prior my engineering school, I worked as an au pair in Australia and I fell so in love with this country that I knew I wanted to start my career there as a site engineer.
How did you feel during your first experiences as a female engineer in the construction industry?
Being a woman in the construction is not always an easy path, it requires to be strong. During one of my internship I was told that I didn’t have my place on site, I also heard that “women should stay at home”. I had to sit on my pride a few times to build my legitimacy, gain in self-confidence and show that a female engineer was as capable as a male. This is how I gained respect and found my place within my teams.
Can you tell us more about your work today?
Becoming a project engineer within the remedial division of Freyssinet Australia gave me the opportunity to get a lot of responsibilities despite my young age. Today, I’m the main contact for our clients on site, in charge of the program, cost, quality and safety of the project. I work in direct contact with the sites supervisors and workers.
You just won an Encouragement Award in "Women in building" category at Master Builder Association's Award ceremony, how do you feel?
This is the outcome of a wonderful adventure and a common victory that I share with the NSW Remedial Team, part of it attended the Award night which meant a lot to me. Being finalist of the 2017 “Women in Building Award” is a fantastic recognition of my evolution as an engineer in the company
What would you want to say to all women working in the construction industry?
You will probably go through some difficult times, and hear some inappropriate comments but those situations will push you to give the best of yourself.
As to tackle prejudices in the construction industry, Audrey was called on a worksite to replace a… paternity leave!