Claire Scrimgeour, Women’s Infrastructure Network Waikato Chair

What organisation are you with and what is your role?
I work for Beca in our water team based in Hamilton. My role is Principal – Environmental Engineering which allows me to get involved in a variety of projects supporting communities with their water, wastewater and stormwater services. I also lead our local team of water specialists. I’ve been involved with WIN since it was set up in the Waikato and enjoy meeting professional women involved in all aspects of infrastructure.

What are some moments in your career that you feel most proud of?
It is always rewarding when the information I’ve prepared has helped communities understand their water services and become engaged with how to improve them and reduce impact on the environment. I enjoy seeing my team develop their technical abilities and teamwork skills. I have been working part-time for over 10 years and I am proud that making use of flexible working has allowed me to make this work for Beca and my family. I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing people over the years who have been very generous with their time and knowledge and I enjoy being able to now share some of my experiences with others.

Can you offer any reflections on the role your age/experience/diversity has played in your career so far?
There were few women working in senior roles in the water industry when I started and it has been great to see that has changed significantly over the last 20 years. Early in my career it was daunting to talk to councillors and stakeholders about projects but after a bit of practice and with support from my managers, it got a lot easier. I would encourage people to take advantage of opportunities to develop presentation and engagement skills.


Paul Curry, The Infrastructure Collective Canterbury Chair

What organisation are you with and what is your role?
I am with Higgins Contractors Ltd which is a part of the Fletcher Construction Company. Higgins builds and maintains roads and civil infrastructure throughout New Zealand and within Fiji. It is also a market leader in delivering civil works packages in the wind energy sector.

I’m the senior estimator, leading the estimating team for the construction division in the South Island. I’m part of the senior leadership team for the Christchurch branch and provide national support on significant tenders. My role is to secure future work for the business that forms part of its strategic growth and success.

What are some moments in your career you feel most proud of?
Working on the America’s Cup 36 (AC36) Infrastructure Works in Auckland. Being part of the great Wynyard Edge Alliance was a highlight. Working with some of the top talents in New Zealand between owners, constructors and designers really interested me and showed the strength of such a model. Being part of the preparation for such a significant event for New Zealand was a real honour. The works have created an attractive, welcoming waterfront destination that Aucklanders and visitors will love for years to come.

Also, in recent months becoming the Chair for the Canterbury Chapter of The Infrastructure Collective (TIC). As the Canterbury Chapter was just established this year, it’s been great to play a part in that. It has come with its challenges but I am very proud of what the committee has achieved with the support of INZ. Providing a platform for young professionals within the TIC network to articulate their thoughts on infrastructure related topics to the wider industry has been very rewarding.

In doing so, we have been able to help in developing members and creating opportunities for young professionals to network through events.

Can you offer any reflections on the role your age/experience/diversity has played in your career so far?
Yes, in a positive context. It is knowing that age diversity in the workplace can improve organisational performance with numerous generations representing today’s workforce. I have found that it drives innovation, as different ages bring about different experiences, expectations, styles and perspectives.

This has been the case at Higgins as they have created a professional environment that supports this and provides equal opportunities to create change.

As an example, with my experience to date I have developed my own style to tender inputs. That has now led to me to being part of a national working group to provide information and feedback in the field of estimating and new business with numerous members of diverse backgrounds. This contributes to the business as the collective feedback from the working group will form part of the new management systems that will be rolled out throughout the business.

I hope the industry keeps providing platforms for young professionals to share their ideas and viewpoints, as it is often the catalyst for innovation.