23 June 2023

Justine Paragreen, Construction Manager BMD (VIC/SA/TAS)

At BMD, our business is our people, and we genuinely believe it is our family orientated culture that sets us apart and makes our business a great place to work. 

The inclusion of women in the construction and engineering industry is a key priority for our business. We’re committed to driving positive change by creating an inclusive environment that embraces equity and diversity and provides our people with the best opportunities to thrive. 

This International Women in Engineering Day provides a timely opportunity to celebrate BMD’s women in engineering and learn more about their career journey as we head towards our collective goal to bring more women into construction. 

As an engineer at BMD, my role is…

A Construction Manager VIC/SA/TAS for BMD Constructions based out of Victoria. My role involves guiding and support projects, from precontracts through to delivery, promoting the BMD Way to attain HSEQ Excellence, meet regulatory requirements, and achieve financial objectives. 

Whilst I’ve only been in this position for two months, I have been an engineer for over 20 years! 

What was your journey to becoming an engineer? 

My favourite subject in primary school was science because Mr Greene made it fun. This extended to a love for chemistry and physics at secondary school. A family friend suggested I consider engineering and my Year 11 Physics teacher proposed that I apply for the engineering stream of the National Youth Science Forum, which I subsequently attended, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Canterbury. 

Following secondary school, I studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) at RMIT University in Melbourne and graduated with Honours. Following this, I went on to study a Master of Technology Management (Construction Management) with Swinburne University of Technology whilst working fulltime. 

Have you faced any unique challenges as a woman in engineering?

There have been several challenges across my career, large and small, but the most significant has been navigating becoming a mum whilst working in a project delivery role in 2012 – it was unchartered territory for not just myself but also the project team that I was a part of. Most of the challenges were common for a new mum but unique for the construction industry, for example, needing maternity personal protective equipment, being pregnant on a high-risk construction site, and upon returning to work, continuing to exclusively breastfeed. 

In your experience, how does BMD support women in technical roles like engineering? 

While my experience with BMD has been limited, I’ve seen numerous opportunities for internal and external training and countless opportunities for further training and professional development offered to our people. There’s also gender pay equity and equal opportunities for career progression and recognition for women as there are men. 

Significantly, BMD has partnered with Engineers Australia for BMD engineers to undertake Engineering Workforce Credentialing (EWC), a streamlined pathway to become Registered and Chartered.

Do you have any advice for other women who are considering becoming an engineer? 

Engineering is a rewarding career (not just for women), with infinite paths depending on your interests. If you’re considering becoming an engineer, seek out opportunities to come, try and see what it’s all about. I am always up for a chat if it means I can help others, particularly women, get into engineering.

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