For the first time ever, a Kiwi woman has won two high profile Australian construction industry awards.
Christchurch’s Lucy Eng, a Project and Cost Manager at Beca, has won the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors Infinite Value ‘Women in Construction’ and ‘Professional of the Year’ Awards.
Lucy accepted the awards at the Institute’s gala dinner on October 23, and says she was “absolutely shocked” to win the first award, let alone be named the overall winner.
“I was amazed to find out I was one of the two finalists in the “Women in Construction” category – it really showed me how far I’ve come from where I started,” says Lucy, who is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS).
“Getting recognised for my hard work is a real achievement for me, and winning these awards is just an amazing feeling.”
Lucy was told she was a clear winner of the award due to an honest entry and the way in which she goes the extra mile in her pro bono work and other commitments, such as serving on the Canterbury branch board of the NZIQS since 2008.
“I’m a hands on person, I like to really get involved in as much as I can, and I guess that showed through in my entry,” she says.
Lucy qualified as a Quantity Surveyor (QS) in 2008, where she worked for a contractor in Christchurch. In 2010 she moved to Beca, where she works now as a Project and Cost Manager.
She says quantity surveying and construction management appealed to her because of the challenges involved in different phase of a project lifecycle.
“I thrive when a challenge is put to me, and being a QS I get that a lot more than I would have if I had pursued my first field of study as an Environmental Scientist.
“Every project I work on is different, there’s so much variety.
“I love having the opportunity to work on a project from start to finish, deliver it to the client, and see their smile at the end.”
Lucy says she’s faced many challenges in her career, and being a woman was one of them.
“The construction industry is definitely male dominated, and I definitely found that hard at first and still do sometimes,” she says.
“It was a huge challenge to have my colleagues, clients and contractors believing in me and the work I do.
“In every project that I’m involved in, I put in extreme effort and commitment to make sure I deliver my job on time and deliver it well.”
However, Lucy says it’s great to see a clear trend towards more women becoming involved in quantity surveying and construction management.
“There were three women in my class when I did my Quantity Surveying and Construction Management course, and I believe that number has tripled now.
“I think no matter how many more women we have in the construction industry, there will still be some stereotyping that goes on, but at least people are beginning to see the growth and changes in the nature of the workforce.”
The Women in Construction award celebrates women making significant impact in a stereotypically male space, and campaigning for the role of women in the construction industry at large – and Lucy has some sound advice for other young women entering study or work in the industry.
“Make sure you know what you want, don’t lose sight of your goals, strive to achieve them – and prove you can do it.”
• Lucy Eng with her two awards
For more information, contact:
• Lucy Eng, email@example.com
• Marilyn Moffatt, NZIQS Executive Director, 04 473 5521