The award was presented by former royal correspondent Jennie Bond at a high profile event in Manchester. The Rising Star Award was one of the most hotly contested categories, with a total of ten high calibre women all being shortlisted for the prize.
Commenting on her win, Kate said:
“I was absolutely stunned when I heard my name announced. To win against such an impressive list of women is an amazing achievement and I’m very proud to have accepted this award. Recognising our achievements is important, and I think it’s vital that women in the workplace are supported and encouraged as they strive to achieve their potential. I’m very lucky to have worked in teams where gender hasn’t been an issue or prevented me from participating to the very best of my ability. Promoting diversity in the field is vital because, ultimately, it brings better results. We are dealing with more diverse clients now, and so we need to bring more diverse teams in to meet their requirements.”
Having joined Arcadis in 2012 as a graduate in Australia, Kate moved to the UK in July 2016 to develop her technical skills and build on the international connections she’d made in the business. She is now heavily involved in a range of large scale urban development projects including land transport, utilities and land forming. This includes acting as lead engineer on a new housing programme for Croydon Council and a 10,000 new home development in Cambridge.
In awarding the Rising Star prize, the judges commended Kate for her work in attracting, supporting and celebrating female engineers. She has been involved with two Women in Engineering groups, attended various high school presentations promoting careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and tutored Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering subjects at Queensland University of Technology.
Kate added: “It’s really important that women find a career they are passionate about. My advice to others would be to really get out there and get involved in as many things as you can. For me, forming networks has been vital, and getting involved in things outside of the 9-5 is essential for being able to fully participate in your field. I think it’s also important for people – not just women – to take a step back and clearly map out your career path. A lot of us don’t realise how much we’ve achieved. I would encourage everyone to identify all of your successes; this is what makes up your career and we need to acknowledge and be proud of this.”