13 March 2024

International Women’s Day Q&A series: Emily Milsom

To mark International Women’s Day, tusp as part of the BMD Group, proudly stands alongside the global community as we strive to make gender equity the foundation of our commitment to inclusivity.

We are shining a light on some of the remarkable women of tusp to gain an insight into their journey in the construction industry and to highlight the significant impact they are making as they forge their careers.

Meet Emily, a Consultant at tusp, who has recently been seconded to Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) as the strategic campaign’s portfolio lead.

We sat down with Emily to ask her a few questions about her role and the opportunities available within the construction industry.

Tell me about your role and what it involves.

I have recently taken on a secondment role at Nuclear AMRC as the strategic campaigns’ portfolio lead. This involves stakeholder engagement and management within the organisation and outside, reviewing key areas to target for the future of Nuclear AMRC and ensuring our strategy is aligned with those targets.

I am also managing a consortium to deliver several tender responses. This takes a lot of time management, organisation, and communication to ensure all companies are aligned for a successful bid and subsequent delivery of the projects. It’s a challenging but highly enjoyable role.

What attracted you to the industry?

I was fortunate to be involved in the Constructionarium Australia pilot exercise as an undergraduate. This is an excellent programme for emerging professionals and one that BMD has supported from the very beginning. When I joined Constructionarium I got firsthand practical experience on how the industry worked and how rewarding planning, designing and building could be with a supportive and enthusiastic team around you. Following this, I secured a role as a client-side project manager and haven’t looked back since!

What advice would you give young women entering the industry?

My advice to young women is to be fiercely confident, don’t be afraid to take up space, speak your mind and just go for it! You shouldn’t wait to tick all the criteria boxes. It’s okay to fail, learn and grow. Another big piece of advice I would give is to support, empower and celebrate the success of other women around you.

Do you have any role models? And if so, why are they so inspirational?

I have worked with so many amazing women throughout my career which I have been able to count on and look to for mentorship, advice, and motivation. However, one person I always look to for guidance and support is my mother, Nicola Vaisey. I remember being a young girl and watching her work hard at her endeavours when she was a successful General Manager of a startup company. As I have progressed in my career, I am always grateful for her professional insights, connections and lessons that she was willing to teach me. Seeing that you can be a high-achieving professional woman without having to sacrifice a family or living your life, has been a huge inspiration to me.

What initiatives or changes would you like to see to further support women in the industry?

I think it’s important for the industry to allow for adequate support for women, whether this be through policies (such as parental leave or supporting those subjected to domestic violence) or through actively creating a safe, respectful environment for women to feel confident to take up space and speak their mind.

Another important mechanism for support is highlighting different roles. It is very difficult to be what you can’t see! Key to this is visibility of opportunities across all levels of the business, or ensuring there are open networks for women to connect with other like-minded individuals where visibility is difficult.

From a leadership perspective, celebrating all wins, acting with transparency, and supporting women in various ways. For example, finding appropriate board or board observer roles (with training support); putting someone forward for an opportunity; or introducing them to more people within your network. These all help ensure a happier workforce and improve retention of women within the industry.

Finally, it’s very important to highlight the existence of unconscious bias and seek to address it. Together we can build a respectful, high-achieving workspace, where people want to belong, and are motivated to succeed and do their very best.

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