Shaping the world, in her own backyard

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

Fast forward four years and Tasfia is now a Project Engineer on one of Diona’s most high-profile projects, Johnstons Creek Naturalisation for Sydney Water. Once complete, the Johnstons Creek area will transform from an unsightly concrete stormwater channel into a place for the community to enjoy with improved amenity, liveability and enhanced environmental outcomes.

When asked about her experiences as a female engineer working in construction Tasfia said she’s never experienced any discrimination or issues.

“For me, it’s all about the people in the team. It’s not about being male or female. I’ve always been made to feel welcome,” said Tasfia.

“Notwithstanding the great culture, working as a Project Engineer is hard work. But for me, the work is rewarding. I really love to see the transition of a project from an approved design through to completion.

“I can understand why some women choose not to work in a construction environment. I don’t see myself in a ‘desk’ job – not at this point in my career. Direct construction management will give me more options in the future.”

According to Tasfia, the COVID-19 pandemic could have severely disrupted the program of works at Johnstons Creek, however everyone on the team was committed to on-time and safe delivery. Diona worked closely with Sydney Water to ensure all parties were as safe as we possibly could be.

“Diona has always been extremely safety conscious, so while the concepts of social distancing and rigorous hygiene were new, we all adapted quickly,” said Tasfia.

The only major change due to Covid-19 has been the temporary closure of the Community Hub.

“Given the social distancing requirements mandated by the government, we had to close the community hub, but we continue to manage community enquiries via phone and email,” said Tasfia.

Johnstons Creek revitalisation is due for completion in mid-2021. More information on the project can be found here.

International Women in Engineering Day 2020 (23 June) has the theme #ShapetheWorld. Women (and men) all over the globe can help to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.