Diversity and inclusion in the workplace – ‘Big Interview’ Part 2 with Dani Paxson

D&I in the modern workplace

Sean Barker sat down with structural engineer Dani Paxson, one of our Project Directors here at Holmes. This is Part Two of her interview where she discusses her involvement in the Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity (SE3) Project, the importance of role models, and what organisations can do to help those in minority groups to excel.

 

Here’s a short snippet from Part Two of Dani’s interview:

My focus is on the leaks in the pipeline and why women who are entering the profession tend to leave. We are getting the right numbers of women through the front door. We have been for some time now, but they’re leaking out at a higher rate than men.

What would you say to firms, and what could New Zealand engineering and architecture firms do to stop these leaks in the pipeline?

The most fundamental first step for most companies is to consider undergoing unconscious bias training. It’s pretty eye-opening and a great place to start to understand the dynamics between genders and other demographics you probably haven’t considered within your own company. There are invisible hurdles that, once you see them, you won’t want them there, and you’ll want to do something about it.

That aside, there are some mental shifts people have to be willing to make. The first of those is to be willing to stop making excuses. So, things like blaming the pipeline theory, or deciding that women leave for any number of stereotypical reasons we lean on we don’t understand. If we stop answering these questions we don’t know the answers to, with the fill-in-the-blank answers that we hear on TV, and in the media, then the next step is to start listening. For instance, listen to what women within our organisation want. Don’t make assumptions on their behalf, but start to engage with them. Find out what they’re looking for short-term and long-term in their careers, and ask them whether they see themselves fitting at your company. 

Read Dani’s super insightful interview here

Property Council New Zealand Awards for 2020

Collaborating on award winning projects across New Zealand

Congratulations to our Holmes Consulting Civils Team and Structures Team for their projects which were winners at the Property Council New Zealand annual Property Industry Awards, which celebrate excellence in the built environment.
There are 11 award categories (shown below along with their sponsors) and one Supreme Award winner on the night:
  • Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Multi-Unit Residential Property Award
  • Greenstone Group Education Property Award
  • RCP Commercial Office Property Award
  • Holmes Consulting Tourism and Leisure Property Award
  • Templeton Group Urban Land Developments Property Award
  • Yardi Retail Property Award
  • CBRE Industrial Property Award
  • Warren and Mahoney Civic and Arts Property Award
  • Fagerhult NZ Health and Medical Property Award
  • Naylor Love Heritage and Adaptive Reuses Property Award
  • Resene Green Building Property Award
  • Rider Levett Bucknall Supreme Award

Our Civils Team and Structures Team have done extremely well, as their project – Waste Management Headquarters (by Stride Property) completely swept the awards ceremony picking up three awards, including the prestigious Supreme Award Winner!

The NZ $45M project is a 9,100m2 facility set on five hectares in East Tamaki, is one of the first New Zealand projects to utilise the new Greenstar Design and As-Built rating tool, meaning green stormwater infrastructure was integrated into this light-industrial zoned site. The use of quality 3D modelling and construction information also enabled coordination between civil works and architectural and structural design—resulting in a complex network of pipework installed on time, with no clashes.

The office buildings vary in storeys and consist of office space, communal areas, and staff amenities. The workshops are large steel portal frame buildings used to store, repair and maintain the trucks and bins, and the auxiliary buildings are open structures used to wash the trucks and bins.

Waste Management needed to occupy the site by a set date due to an expiring lease at their current site, and so our team of experts delivered the design to a tight programme.

The project beat 114 other nominees to take home the Resene ‘Green Building Award’, the CBRE ‘Industrial Property Award’ and the Rider Levett Bucknall ‘Supreme Award’ – a huge achievement and one we’re super proud of for the teams involved!

But these weren’t the only accolades for this stellar project! Waste Management Headquarters also received an Excellence Award for the RCP ‘Commercial Office Property Award’ category too.

But this wasn’t our only major project winner last night!

The Christchurch Town Hall Conservation Project took out the Naylor Love ‘Heritage & Adaptive Reuses Property Award’, which was won by the Christchurch City Council (and project partners). Another well deserved accolade for the team, who are also finalists in the IStructE Showcase and finalists in the 2020 ACE Awards to be presented on 25 November 2020.

Our awesome project partners at Precinct Properties won for our project The Defence House in Wellington. It was awarded the RCP Commercial Office Property Award’ for their successful delivery of a fully refurbished modern office building (23,200m2) with new services, finishes, glass façade, and strengthened to 100% New Zealand Building Standard (NBS).

And lastly, the following exceptional projects were also recognised for their urban innovation which is crafting the future of Aotearoa.

    • The Wanaka Community Pool, part of the Wanaka Recreation Centre, which we worked on with Warren and Mahoney, RCP, and the Queenstown Lakes District Council received a ‘Merit Award’ for the Holmes Group ‘Tourism and Leisure Property Award’.
    • Building C – Mt Eden Corrections Facility received an ‘Excellence Award’ for the Warren and Mahoney ‘Civic and Arts Property Award’. This is a project we collaborated on with Beca and the Department of Corrections.

And our friends at Holmes Fire were part of these award winning projects too:

    • Beatrice Tinsley Building (part of the University of Canterbury) was awarded an ‘Excellence Award’ in the Greenstone Group ‘Education Property Award’.
    • SKHY received an ‘Excellence Award’ for the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities ‘Multi-Unit Residential Property Award’.

    Check out the full list of winners here: 2020 winners for the Property Council NZ Awards

Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace – ‘Big Interview’ Part 1 with Dani Paxson.

The Diversity Agenda’s ‘Big Interview’ Part 1 with Dani Paxson

Sean Barker sat down with Dani Paxson, one of our Project Directors. In part one of this two-part interview, Dani discusses her early career days, experience as a woman in engineering, the barriers she’s faced, and the power of networking groups.

Her candidness is refreshing, let alone her breadth of experience in the industry too! The interview is a great read and is super insightful too, read Dani’s full interview here. 

WE ARE HIRING!

Are you an experienced engineer?

For more than six decades, across NZ and the world, Holmes Consulting (NZ) has led the engineering industry in invention, creativity, and quality. We’ve built our reputation on the strength of our technical brilliance, ability to innovate, and our unwavering commitment to delivering engineering excellence.

Through the current Covid-19 situation, Holmes has continued to focus on the highest standards, and the Holmes team remains a vanguard for quality in the industry. We have an exciting set of projects both in progress and in the offing over the longer term, and a strong pipeline underpinned by long term relationships with many of NZ’s leading clients, architects, contractors, and other stakeholders.

We’re looking for experienced Structural and Civil Structures Engineers. The type of projects you can work on range from the Commercial Bay precinct, to the Historic Place Category 1 listed Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, or even the award winning Perry Bridge in the Waikato.

Visit our website to see our current job opportunities.

And watch our #HolmesGrown video below to see what it’s like to work here at Holmes.

First glimpse at the Concept Design for the Christ Church Cathedral.

Newly released Concept Design video shows the impressive Cathedral being reincarnated in all its glory.

Video credit: Warren and Mahoney.

Yesterday morning was a momentous occasion for the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project as they showcased the Concept Design for the reinstated Cathedral and its supporting buildings that will make up the ‘Cathedral Quarter’ in downtown Christchurch (watch the video to view the design).

The design shows the plan for the Anglican Cathedral and its supporting buildings that will make up the ‘Cathedral Quarter’, designed by Warren and Mahoney in association with Snøhetta Architects and Salmond Reed.

Our team here at Holmes Consulting is incredibly proud to be part of this important rebuild project and are incredibly impressed by team we’re collaborating with on this exciting project!

Watch this space for more information, photos, and behind the scenes from the team here at Holmes.