Can you tell us a little about what CAD is and why is it an important part of the process at Piritahi?
Autocad is powerful design and draughting software that we use to turn our engineering designs and surveyed data into clear, precise plans for the council and our clients.
So what’s a typical workday like for you?
I’m based in the Quay St office and am at my desk by the window most of the day drawing up plans (and looking out at the beautiful harbour). I work predominantly in the Ōwairaka team but I also work with surveyors and across other neighbourhoods when they need me. I get a lot of questions from colleagues and often spend an hour or two helping them out, especially new draughties who are learning the ropes. We get new people on board all the time.
What do you enjoy about your role and the industry?
I love the variety of my role, I prepare all sorts of plans, from topographical site surveys to roading designs, to stormwater networks, manhole details and large-scale subdivision scheme plans, just to name a few. I often don’t know exactly what I'll be doing from one day to the next which I enjoy, it keeps me on my toes. I'm quite new to engineering as I’ve worked most of my life in the surveying industry so I'm always learning too.
Are there challenges you’ve faced working in a male-dominated industry?
I don’t think so to be honest. I’ve always felt quite comfortable working with mostly guys. One of the things I struggle with is because I’m based in the office, I don’t get out on site as often as I’d like, but my workmates are great at explaining things and are always happy to help. I’m pretty sure as soon as we are out of lockdown I’m due a site visit though!
Speaking of lockdown, how has working from home been during this time?
Working from home has been reasonably easy so far. The first week was a challenge, just setting up a work space away from the family and trying to get into some sort of routine. I have three children and my partner is also working at home, so there’s a few distractions from time to time.
Our team keeps in regular contact, we have a daily toolbox team meeting each morning to discuss and plan what we are doing for the day. We can message each other easily and share screens so we talk often. It’s almost as if we are sitting next to each other in the office. So all in all it’s working pretty well.
What are your goals for this year?
This year, part of my role has been to help set up the CAD system and draughting standards for Piritahi. We all come from different companies so there were some initial challenges with bringing us all together, but we have a common goal and once we get there I will feel very proud to have had a part of it. Apart from that, my goal is to learn and enjoy the experience of working in this alliance. It’s been a great way to meet like-minded and motivated people in a fast-paced industry.
Any advice for other women considering joining the industry?
I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s rewarding, challenging and interesting. There are so many different avenues you can take and specialise in. Engineering and surveying are such broad disciplines - you can start out not knowing where you want to be and just follow the path that interests you the most.
Keen to be part of the team at Piritahi? Check out our careers page for more information and current opportunities!