Sinead Deeney, Project Manager & Civil Engineer, Australia
How did your journey to study Engineering begin? What inspired you initially?
My journey into Engineering began with my interest in my fathers work. He worked within the construction industry as a crane operator and he used to bring me along with him to work which I loved. I was always keen to see what he was doing and what he was building.
Following this I went ahead and did a Diploma in Building Studies to determine if construction was the field I wished to pursue. This cover all disciplines of engineering, surveying and construction law, which soon allowed me to chose which I preferred.
This is when I proceeded to university where I studied Engineering. I love buildings, structures and it was actually the Burj Al Arab that caught my heart and interest to want to be apart of something that iconic and unique someday.
What does your family feel about your profession?
My family are very supportive of my profession and proud. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I have amazing parents that helped me in any way they could through my studies and until this day in my profession. I also am lucky to have a partner that supports me in everything I do especially my profession. If I ever have any doubt in myself my family ensure it is not there for long.
Are you a member of the CAFEW facebook group? If so, for how long and active are you in the group?
I will be added as a new member soon.
What were your challenges in securing a job? What tips do you have to encourage others in job search?
Challenges I faced where being discouraged in my abilities. The first company I worked for was a small company who had a director that did not believe women belonged in the engineering profession.
I constantly had to answer for any of the issues that came about due to the male engineers and could do no right. The harder I worked the more negativity I received.
I am lucky to work for WSP at present who promote women in our profession and support them to the best of there ability. The strive to break the barrier and create equality between men and women in our profession.
My tips would be never let anyone tell you that you are not good enough or cant do something. If you want something enough it is always possible. Never settle for an employer who does not see your ability and what you have to offer.
How best would you suggest young female engineers navigate their careers?
My biggest piece of advice is to aim high. You need to have high goals but also need to be willing to start at the bottom and put in the hard work to get to where you want to be. Be humble in doing so and never forget to help others in years to come who are trying to do the same as you once did.
How did you deal with the technical knowledge disparity that happens amongst females in engineering roles?
I think this is a very stigmatic label for our industry. Women do get treated like they have a knowledge gap compared to men but this is not the case. There are many female engineers I know that would put any man to same with there technical ability.
You just have to believe in what you know and constantly learn and grow your knowledge to keep up with the moving world and technology.
What currently motivates you in your recent job?
I love what I do and I do it in a great environment. For me motivation is very easy because of the simple love in what I do and I enjoy the new tasks each day sets me.
I also get great motivation from my company, they support me as an employee and apricate the work I do for them.
I have a personal goal to develop myself to achieve certain milestones and standards. I want to make my family proud and I also want to give back to my company for having belief in me and supporting me.
What does work life balance mean to you?
It is very important, if you do not balance work and still maintain personal time if can drastically effect both your work and personal life.
I go to the gym every morning before work which is very therapeutic for me. I usually have industry commitments Mon – Thur evenings but I always make sure the weekends are my own.
What are your expectations on the evolution of Engineering in the near future?
I believe engineering will get very interesting in the future in relation to the technologies that are evolving. It is a space to watch and get excited about.
What do you wish you could have done better? What advice would you give your younger self and why?
I wish I had of got a little industry experience when I was going through university. It would have made studying a little easier as you would have had a better understanding of it. I also believe it gives you a little head start in your working profession.
Provide a personal quote to motivate others.
In the end it doesn’t matter how many breathes you take, but the moments that take your breath away.
CAFEW is happy to celebrate, encourage, and motivate Female Engineers and other Females who enable success in Engineering.
“Talent is unique to each person so it is highly necessary to nurture it. Dream big, work hard consistently, develop skills continuously, volunteer, read & research always to increase your knowledge bank and most of all pray always.” – Ngowari Diminas, CAFEW founder