Who is Silvia Gioja? WICE Award winner for Best Woman in Tunnelling & Underground Construction, BIM specialist, inspiring colleague, doting mother, explorer and adventure enthusiast, and now also nominated for Construction Woman of the Year in Belgium.
We caught up with Silvia to hear about her personal and professional life, what motivates her, and what's next.
Those who know me would say I’m always smiling, giving out positive vibes, and I am generally an open person who never stops looking at opportunities to grow. And, that’s a pretty accurate summary.
I started my career in infrastructure and buildings, and over the years, developed my specialization in tunneling and underground construction projects. My journey with Arcadis started in September 2018 in the historic, charming Belgian city of Antwerp. In just three years, I learnt a lot and grew from a BIM coordinator to BIM Lead for Belgium’s mobility team.
I work in a complementary team where everyone has its own characteristics. I feel proud when I can help clients to realize their projects. I thank my nomination for Construction Woman of the Year to the good collaboration with clients and colleagues. It’s the icing on the cake of my career path and the choices I made, like moving to Belgium to have a better balance between work and family.
At home, I’m a loving wife and doting mother of a cute one year old baby, Mattia! Giving him the attention he needs and balancing that with the ‘new normal’ can be challenging. Having an understanding team is important, and my team leader has been supportive throughout my journey at Arcadis. But support also goes both ways. I strongly believe that diverse viewpoints and experiences lead to better solutions. I always try to set examples of resilience and development for both for female and male colleagues, through my professional achievements and personal experiences. I’m happy that this belief led me to guiding two of our interns to gaining positions as BIM Coordinators.
"Avia pervia", a latin motto meaning “the inaccessible becomes accessible”, in a broad sense “making the impossible possible”. I am convinced things considered more difficult or ambitious to achieve, can happen thanks to a peculiar tenacious character… and that’s who I am ;) There is always a solution for personal or professional difficulties. With competence, patience, and a smile you will always get there!
My 2021 has been characterized by great quality professional outcomes. A result from long time efforts and my love for work and people. I was promoted to the highest level of BIM professional and won the WICE awards, a European prize for women in construction and engineering. At the same time I never stop looking at opportunities to grow, my life is shaped by continuous improvement. However, I also faced setbacks in my private life, but I was able to turn challenges into positive vibes and inspire other people through them.
I recognize it doesn’t stop here, and I’d like to help create a path for more women to explore careers in our industry. Hopefully showing through my example how we can be resilient, have a growth mindset, multi-task and work on inspiring projects that truly make a difference!