Hayely Maybury and Megan Hodder with the SMEC team at Grafton
Hayely Maybury and Megan Hodder with the SMEC team at Grafton Jenna Thompson

Engineered to encourage women

DESPITE being the only two women in an office of 20 engineering and development consultants, Hayley Maybury and Megan Hodder said they feel empowered in their roles at SMEC Grafton.

The professional engineering and development consulting company which supports local government, the Roads and Maritime Services and the Pacific Highway upgrade pride themselves on creating a diverse and accepting work environment.

"We're lucky here because we've got a great bunch of male co-workers who all understand and respect our values,” Ms Maybury said.

"As a whole, the company is quite diverse and really passionate about getting women in to the workforce.”

To celebrate International Women's Day, the team at SMEC decided to show Ms Hodder and Ms Maybury just how important they were with a special breakfast presentation.

"Our manager went out of his way and contacted senior manager Monica Sirol from the RMS to have a chat with us to share her career progression journey,” Ms Maybury said.

Ms Maybury's career began at SMEC four years ago when she was hired as a receptionist, but has since progressed to a senior role.

"Over the years my roles have changes and as of a month ago, I became an office manager which is extremely rewarding,” she said.

"It's been really nice to know that there is a career path for us here because in administration you start to think, well, where can I go from here?”

Ms Hodder said her role as team administrator within the company has also opened many doors of opportunity including working in Sydney on occasion's.

"I work across the different teams and projects in addition to the general administration duties, but we've also been given opportunities to go out on site and be involved with the geotechnical engineers so that we can increase our own project knowledge and ownership,” she said.

"It's nice to be able to work together. The team we've got here is fantastic because we're all encouraged to learn off each other and through the broader national SMEC Team”