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Simple stuff first

Simple stuff first We sat down with Ralph Fouche, Country Manager for Stantec New Zealand, to talk about how his company have taken huge strides in improving diversity and inclusion, and what tips he can pass on to other firms. Ralph’s a Water And Waste Water Engineer who came to New Zealand in 1995 from…

Five podcasts you need to hear

Five podcasts you need to hear. Make your morning commute more interesting with these five podcast episodes centred on diversity and inclusion. Podcasts have grown in popularity over the last few years. They’re a great way to learn and be entertained when commuting, having lunch or just in need of some time out. (And if…

Diversity in motion

Diversity in motion How can greater diversity in transportation  engineering help create  a  more inclusive world? There’s a roundabout near my home in suburban Hamilton where I was almost knocked off my bike on my way to work last year. I was turning right, and as I prepared to exit, a driver failed to give…

What’s good? What could be better?

What’s good? What could be better? After celebrating our first birthday in April, Diversity Agenda partners look back at what’s worked and where we’ll go next. On 9 May, our members gathered in Wellington to share the initiatives they’ve launched this past year to create more welcoming and inclusive cultures. They also highlighted where the…

Six little changes you can make now

Six little changes you can make now Here’s some top tips from our Share and Shape workshop that you can implement straight away. 1. Got soy milk? Not all changes need to be landmarks. Sometimes the best way to start your journey to inclusivity is with small wins. With so many different dietary requirements in…

It’s nice to be noticed!

It’s nice to be noticed! Diversity Agenda and members gain recognition in 2019 Diversity Awards We’re proud to announce the Diversity Agenda is a finalist in the ‘Emerging Diversity and Inclusion’ category of the Diversity Awards NZ™, which honours diversity and inclusion initiatives that are less than two years’ old. Since our launch last April,…

Challenging the industry

Challenging the Industry WSP Opus New Zealand Managing Director Ian Blair talks about how embracing diversity and inclusion has changed the culture of his firm. What does diversity mean to you and why is it important to you personally? For me, diversity is having an organisation or an industry that represents all parts of society…

Are firms making it too hard for migrants to find work?

Are firms making it too hard for migrants to find work? by Sean Barker This was the key concern raised by a bumper crowd at the ‘Settling into New Zealand’ event aimed at new engineering migrants. So what’s behind these comments, and what can be done to help? More than 200 people attended the event,…

Switching girls on to STEM

Switching girls on to STEM Kim Rutter, a civil engineer turned lecturer at the University of Canterbury, is leading the charge to get Kiwi girls interested in STEM. Getting young women interested in STEM careers starts by changing the way girls are introduced to these subjects. Kim Rutter is doing her part to help shape…

How can you do more?

How can you do more? Julie Stewart and Stephen McDougall at Studio Pacific Architecture look back on what they’ve changed during 12 months as a Founding Partner. And they ask why more architects aren’t on board. The Diversity Agenda has given us momentum to move beyond our individual practices and become part of a wider…

How to keep mid-career women on track

How to keep mid-career women on track Mid-career is the most risky stage for potential women leaders. Enter Anne Elder-Knight and her unique Growing Greatness programme, which Beca is making available to all Diversity Agenda Founding Partners and Change Makers. It would have been easier to roll out a new training programme just for their…

Where are we at, New Zealand?

A Diversity Agenda event by Sean Barker “It is the responsibility of the people with privilege to drive doing diversity and inclusion well, and not the responsibility of under-represented people” was the message from Rachel Hopkins during the Diversity Agenda hosted ‘Where are we at, New Zealand?’, held at Engineering New Zealand this past week.…

Diversity powers innovation – and some serious competitive advantage

This is custom heading element Samantha Almeida and Priyani de Silva-Currie of Calibre share their insights on the effects of innovation on an organisation’s success and growth. Success and growth are dependent on an organisation’s ability to continually innovate. But if you believe that you have to be smarter or have clever ideas to innovate,…

Dynamic Diversity at Pedersen Read

DYNAMIC DIVERSITY This month, we spotlight Pedersen Read, an engineering consultancy based in the South Island, which is a strong supporter of the Diversity Agenda. We talk to Director Andrew Read about why Pedersen Read has got on board and the changes the company has made to its business. Written by: Kavita Kansara   What…

A Kiwi engineer taking on the Big Apple

A Kiwi engineer taking on the Big Apple By Megan Berger Meet Isabella Franks, a Kiwi engineer who’s been managing the construction of a skyscraper on the Hudson Yards project in New York City, aka the biggest private real estate development in US history. Bella studied structural engineering at the University of Canterbury. She then…

The importance of flexible work

The importance of flexible work By Megan Berger If there’s a single trend we can take away from the past few years in workplace development, it would be the shifting attitude towards flexible working for workers – parents or not. For many reasons, it’s a very good thing that our society has begun embracing flexible…

Looking ahead: Insights and Objectives

LOOKING AHEAD: INSIGHTS & OBJECTIVES As 2019 kicks into high gear, it’s a great time to assess where we are as industries, and where we’re going next. We’re pleased to be releasing two resources that will help continue to guide you and your organisation as you work to improve rates of diversity and inclusion, and…

Speaking out for more LGBT inclusion in STEM

Speaking out for more LGBT inclusion in STEM By Megan Berger We all know that women in particular face challenges when it comes to pursuing a career in STEM fields. But another group of people faces similar issues around a lack of role models, lack of inclusive work environments and lack of understanding: the LGBT…

Being the best ‘you’ you can be

Being the best ‘you’ you can be By Megan Berger Picture a civil engineering laboratory: full of heavy noisy testing equipment, aggregate dust and hot bitumen, and pressure to get results out quickly. What about the people in the laboratory? Is there a mix of men and women? Chances are, you visualise a male dominated…

Mid-Career Break panel recap

Series recap: mid-career breaks Going into our very first series of panel discussions, we knew that there were great conversations to be had. What we didn’t expect was just how passionate and open attendees would be about the struggles and successes around their own career breaks. It can be a tough conversation to open up…

A vision for the 21st century city

Visions of a 21st century city By Megan Berger You don’t need to spend a lot of time with Camia Young to realise she’s an innovator in every sense of the word. Bursting with passion and ideas, she’s relentless in the pursuit of challenging the status quo in order to solve some of the world’s…

RSVP today for the Wellington Trailblazers Lunch

RSVP today for the Wellington Trailblazers Lunch Missed out on the Wellington Trailblazers lunch last month? You’re in luck! We’re partnering with the Engineering New Zealand Wellington Branch to host an encore of the sold-out panel discussion and Q&A session. Join us as two of the panel speakers return to the stage to share their…

Leading from the top

Leading from the top By Megan Berger It seems like common knowledge these days that in order for policies and efforts to really stick, an organisation needs to implement these from both the top down and the bottom up. There’s a plethora of articles and industry perspectives that support this idea, but how often do…

Auckland – our mid-career breaks discussion is coming soon!

Contemplating time off but worried about what it will mean for your career? Anxious about how to manage a part-time workforce? Join the Diversity Agenda for a collaborative discussion with a diverse panel from across the architecture and engineering industries as they discuss mid-career breaks, how men and women can bounce back into the workforce…

Is diversity the (not so) secret to effective teams?

Driving diverse teams By Megan Berger Is the secret to effective teams as simple as paying attention to diversity? As the topics of gender diversity and equality become more widely discussed in today’s workplaces, it should come as no surprise that job seekers are beginning to choose their new roles based on an organisation’s efforts…

Paying it forward: how one recruiter is paving the way for the next generation

Paying it forward By Megan Berger How one female engineering technician-turned recruiter helps to pave a path for the next generation. To understand Judith Billington’s career path, it might help to think of her as a chameleon of sorts. Judith began her career as a draftsperson and soon found herself working at Holmes in Wellington.…

Register for unconscious bias training workshops today

Register today for unconscious bias training As announced last month, we’ve teamed up with Diversity Works New Zealand to bring Founding Partners and Change Makers targeted unconscious bias training workshops in November for a discounted price. Unconscious bias can undermine the many hours organisations invest in creating an inclusive culture. It prevents us from making objective…

RSVP for our Christchurch workshop

Contemplating time off but worried about what it will mean for your career? Anxious about how to manage a part-time workforce? Join the Diversity Agenda for a collaborative discussion with a diverse panel from across the architecture and engineering industries as they discuss mid-career breaks, how men and women can bounce back into the workforce…

Diversity Works New Zealand and Diversity Agenda Announce Formal Partnership

Announcing a new formal partnership Diversity Works New Zealand and the Diversity Agenda have joined forces to accelerate the representation of women in engineering and architecture. Launched in April this year by Engineering New Zealand, the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) and the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACENZ), the Diversity Agenda aims to get…

Workshop Outcomes: Wellington

Mid-Career Breaks: Surviving & Thriving Our first public workshop in Wellington generated a lively conversation around the mid-career break: how to decide to take one, how to best manage employees while they’re on one and how to develop supportive policies to successfully transition them back to work.  Many thanks to everyone who attended our sold-out,…

Healthy Minds: Meridian’s focus on mental health

Meridian’s focus on mental health For the country’s biggest generator of electricity, the mental health and well-being of its employees and the communities it serves is one of its biggest priorities. Meridian’s Healthy Minds programme is a six-week programme which focuses on several areas of mental health, and aims to break down the barriers that…

Walking the Talk: University of Auckland

Walking the Talk: University of Auckland The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Auckland (which is a Founding Partner of Diversity Agenda) recently held an internal workshop to discuss the Faculty of Engineering’s diversity ambitions, and how to best achieve their goals. Read on for a recap of the event from Suzanne…

Diversity Agenda in the news

We’re so thankful for our Founding Partners, Change Makers and advocates that help drive the conversation around diversity in our industries. Have a look at the latest stories covering our initiative. NZ Manufacturer: Women in Engineering, Alisha Baddock Alisha Baddock, Christchurch-based engineer at Beca, is featured in NZ Manufacturer’s ‘Women in Engineering’ recurring feature. Read…

RSVP today for the Wellington workshop

Contemplating time off but worried about what it will mean for your career? Anxious about how to manage a part-time workforce? Join Diversity Agenda for a collaborative discussion with a diverse panel from across the architecture and engineering industries as they discuss mid-career breaks, how men and women can bounce back into the workforce after…

Building a Case for Change

Surveys & Data: Build a Case for Change While more and more organisations are making real changes when it comes to improving diversity and inclusion, we understand that it still takes a lot of work to get buy-in from all levels of an organisation before new policies can be implemented. There are myriad resources out…

Workshop Outcomes

Workshop Outcomes Our inaugural workshop in Auckland on 5 July was a vibrant event, with the room filled to the brim with ideas, stories and conversation. It further proved that while there’s still much to be done in our industries, there’s a groundswell of doers ready to drive change. While our workshop was only open…

Real Talk: Sheila Karimi

Real Talk: Sheila Karimi By Megan Berger Our Real Talk series features women and men in engineering and architecture talking about the challenges and less-than-enjoyable experiences often come along with being a woman – or just being different –  in our industries. For Iranian-born Sheila Karimi, a career in engineering was inevitable. Her father, sister,…

Tips and Tools

Tips & Tools Getaflex Getaflex is a job search tool specifically designed for those looking for professional, flexible roles across New Zealand. Several of our Founding Partners and Change Makers are already using this site to post jobs, so get on board today! Find out more Architecture+Women NZ Architecture+Women NZ brings together the diverse practices…

Becoming an ally for all

Becoming an ally for all By Megan Berger Lynda Simmons is an ally for women in architecture in every sense of the word. As a sole practitioner, a registered architect and a professional teaching fellow at Auckland University School of Architecture and Planning, she’s exposed to the inner-workings of the industry from top to bottom;…

Beyond the nine to five

Beyond the Nine to Five By Melanie McDaid Designer and mum Melanie McDaid has just started a new practice, Sloane & Peach, as well as co-founding a platform that is supportive of flexible working for all. Here she talks about the future of balancing work and life. Returning to work after more than a year…

How can women get ahead? Take a break

How can women get ahead? Take a break By Megan Berger Like many engineers, Sulo Shanmuganathan’s initial interest and draw to the field came from growing up with an engineering parent. Today, she’s the Technical Director at Holmes Consulting in Auckland, but there was a time when Sulo saw academia as her calling. While her…

Getting the most out of your people

Getting the most out of your people By Megan Berger Rachel Blewden is a people person. She’s drawn to having a greater understanding of how teams and people work, how people utilise space in the world around them and how to best create functional spaces for all. It makes sense then that she was drawn…

Being part of the problem and the solution

Being part of the problem and the solution By Megan Berger As our industry begins to shift and examine its policies, there’s perhaps no better place to look than leadership to see what change is on the horizon. Stephen McDougall knows all too well the impact that diversity and flexibility can have on a workplace. As…

Equity over equality

Equity over equality By Megan Berger As an American who’s worked in the UK and now New Zealand, Julie Stewart brings a unique perspective to the diversity conversation. She’s a mother and a senior architect at Studio Pacific Architecture in Wellington, where she’s worked for three years. Overall, Julie’s experience in the industry has been…

Driving change: An industry leader’s perspective

Driving change: An industry leader’s perspective By Megan Berger Darryl-Lee Wendelborn is a poster child for female success in engineering. The Rotorua-raised engineer is now Managing Director at BECA, New Zealand’s largest professional services consultancy, overseeing the firm’s New Zealand business. Over the past 22 years, she’s learned the ins and outs of the organisation,…

Flexible working with Katie Symons

Flexible working with Katie Symons By Megan Berger Katie Symons is a mother of three and a structural engineer at Batchelar McDougall Consulting (BMC) in Christchurch. She’s also clear proof that a flexible work environment can have a huge impact on employees, and more importantly, on their family and home life. Working at BMC for…