Our Women in Civil

Civil construction and engineering has historically been viewed as a male-dominated industry and as a result, many young females do not choose to study engineering or pursue careers in this field. With a goal of curbing this perception, NSW General Manager, Tim Kelly says Diona is committed to encouraging more women to enter the industry.

“Two years ago, Diona only had one female engineer. We are proud to now have nine employed in NSW alone. They are an excellent addition to our teams, as they bring new skills and new ways of thinking which is invaluable to our business and the wider industry,” he said.

“We need to continue helping women see that working in this industry is both engaging and rewarding. I hope that by sharing the success stories from the female engineers we already have in our business, others can be inspired to follow in their footsteps,” said Tim.


Meet Our Female Engineers

Tasfia Shikdar began working at Diona as a Student Design Engineer in 2016 and felt that the on-the-job experience Diona provided was a good way to transition from study to work.

Now a Site Engineer working on the Refresh Woolloomooloo project in Sydney Tasfia says, “I appreciated being asked to be a part of this project as I felt it was a good opportunity to grow my skills. There are many challenges on this project, so I am learning a lot and the project team is amazing and happy to assist me with whatever I need.”

“I look forward to staying at Diona as I believe I can learn plenty more and pass my knowledge onto the younger engineers,” said Tasfia.

In her second week with our business working on the Redbank project at North Richmond, Senior Project Engineer, Monica Tanyous says that the people at Diona are helpful, respectful and understanding of her learning process in the new role. “I think the buddy program Diona has is great and helps new employees feel like they have support and the freedom to ask questions throughout their transition period into the company,” she said.

When asked where she would like to go with Diona in the future Monica replied, “With all going well, I hope to eventually become one of Diona’s Project Managers.”

“Diona and Calibre have a strong focus on gender diversity, so I don’t see why any female cannot succeed in this company,” she said.

Also new to Diona, Project Engineer, Kate Partridge has been in the business for a few weeks and is working on the Dudley Street Noise Wall in Balgowlah. Kate says that working at Diona will present new opportunities for her to grow professionally, take on new challenges and ownership of delivering successful projects from start to finish.

“I want to develop the experience and skills to become a project manager that is capable of managing diverse and complex infrastructure projects and leading successful high performing teams,” said Kate.

Engineering Intern, Tiffany Cao, is a fourth-year student at UTS majoring in Civil Engineering. Tiffany has been working with the Diona design team for five months on the Line 39 Deviation Works for TransGrid as part of the new Western Sydney Airport project. “It has been a great experience for me as I have had the opportunity to work with a professional team and be a part of complex, challenging projects,” said Tiffany.

Tiffany says the internship at Diona has helped her develop the technical skills and work ethic she will need once she leaves university. “If the opportunity arises after my graduation, I would love to continue to work at Diona and be a part of more amazing projects,” she said.


Anna Andersons joined Diona in early 2018 and has been working on the Refresh Woolloomooloo project as a Contracts Administrator. "I enjoy being part of a high performing team that works cooperatively to find solutions and achieve the best results for the client and the community," says Anna.

Although only new to Diona, Anna already feels like part of the team. “I particularly enjoy the work culture and values that Diona promotes,” she said.

Anna looks forward to her continued development and exposure to a wide variety of projects and opportunities.

After joining Diona as an intern at the end of 2017, Pam Pilimatalawwe was given a full-time Engineer position from the start of 2018. Now working on the Powells Creek Naturalisation project, Pam says she has been thoroughly enjoying being a part of this project team.

“I have learnt a great deal about what it takes to be an engineering professional. I also believe I have positively contributed to the team at Powells Creek,” she said.

Pam says she is looking forward to building a vibrant engineering career and getting involved with many more projects at Diona.

Student, Laura Henao has been working with Diona as a Site Engineer on the Sydney Water Reticulation Package 29 since mid-December 2017.  “Ever since I started working here I’ve felt very welcomed, there is a great support network for new starters,” said Laura.

After her 6-month working experience is complete, Laura says she would like to remain at Diona. “I’d love to continue in the company so that I can grow as an engineer and gain industry experience, whilst I finish my degree,” she said. 

As part of her internship program at University, Francy Betancourt began working with Diona in May 2017. “It is a very supportive team and they are willing to help me in my path from a student to a professional engineer,” said Francy.

Francy is currently a Site Engineer on one of Diona’s largest and most challenging projects, the stormwater development at Shepherds Bay in Meadowbank. "It has been a unique experience, every day is different, and there are many situations to tackle and tons to learn,” she said.

Reflecting on her time with Diona so far, Francy stated, “I will always be grateful for the opportunity Diona has given me, and I hope I can continue growing and contributing to Diona and Calibre's success.”

Emma Fogarty began her career with Diona in November 2016 and has quickly progressed from a Site Engineer role to now a Project Engineer. “Diona is a great place to work, and as a company, are committed to diversity in the workplace,” says Emma.

Emma is currently working on the Northern Beaches B-Line Program and the Northern Beaches Hospital Connectivity and Network Enhancement Project. "I enjoy working with the Client to understand their needs, challenges and goals. I appreciate the importance of resolving any difficulties that arise quickly and efficiently with a positive outcome for everyone concerned," she said.

Motivated to continue expanding her career with Diona, Emma said, “I wish to continue to develop my skills, take on more interesting projects and continue to work with people I can learn from. Ultimately, I’d like to assume more management responsibilities and I know Diona will support me in achieving this goal." 


[image top of page: The Ladies were able to spend a day together on Monday, 19 February to get to know each other a little more and take a tour of the Powells Creek site. Left to right Laura Henao, Francy Betancourt, Emma Fogarty, Anna Andersons,Pam Pilimatalawwe, Monica Tanyous, Tiffany Cao, Kate Partridge, (Tasfia Shikdar was unavailable)]