Operating in a very competitive market, SNC-Lavalin’s ability to deliver high-quality products and services is directly linked to our success. Enter Kerry-Lee Catterick, our regional quality manager for Asia Pacific:
Based in Perth, Australia, Kerry-Lee helps us meet the requirements of our management system, industry codes and standards – and therefore, successfully deliver projects. Kerry-Lee's role initially supported the oil & gas sector, but now includes clean power, engineering & consulting, and mining & metals. Her expanded role is central to leveraging local knowledge and expertise, as well as driving a common delivery approach across the business.
What positive experiences have you had since being at SNC-Lavalin?
I joined SNC-Lavalin in 2014 from a background in power, and mining & metals. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being challenged and able to expand my knowledge into oil & gas. The company encourages upward mobility, cross sector pollination, and given that it’s an international company, we have plenty of opportunities for global mobility. If you just work hard at what you love here, there are so many fantastic opportunities for professional and personal growth.
What do you enjoy most about working for SNC Lavalin?
What we do here is exciting and very rewarding. I genuinely enjoy the people that I work with – we share a great camaraderie when we knuckle down to win bids, or deliver large projects. The team understands the meaning of hard work and excellence, which has enabled us to successfully execute two of Australia’s most iconic, and largest LNG projects.
Tell us about your experience as a female leader in a male-dominated industry.
I’ve worked in the engineering and construction industry for over 20 years and I won’t lie, it hasn’t come without it’s challenges. It can be a tough industry for a woman to operate in, especially when the sole purpose of your role is to find faults and identify where people and processes are not performing.
The only way I managed to overcome those challenges was through experience and building a reputation for myself by hard work and determination.
Having said that, there has been a noticeable shift in the industry over the last 10 years, and I genuinely feel that SNC-Lavalin is at the forefront of that shift. We have a well-established diversity and inclusion programme, that allows us to work with people from various backgrounds and different life experiences. It puts a fresh perspective on how we collaborate and operate as a business.
What would you say to people who say engineering and construction is a man’s career?
I would say that in my experience I have found that your career is what you make of it. You need to have thick skin to work in a number of industries and engineering & construction is no different. Yes, it is a challenging sector, given that it is quite male dominated, but it isn’t impossible for a woman to be successful in it.
Like most jobs, hard work, perseverance, loyalty and sacrifice provide opportunity and success. You would need to work hard in any job to build respect with your peers and have them trust the products or services you provide, regardless of your gender.
It’s a really exciting industry to work in, especially when you get to work on large mega projects. You have the opportunity to be part of something great, knowing you’re leaving a legacy that you and your family can be proud of.
What career advice would you give to young women starting out at SNC Lavalin?
Try not focus on the stigma surrounding women and engineering that has been applied in the past. SNC-Lavalin in particular understands the importance of a diverse workforce and the benefits it adds to any organization. So if you’re willing to work hard and apply yourself, you’ll receive the same opportunities as anybody else. I would recommend that you develop a network of experienced peers. There are plenty of very knowledgeable people in the organization who would be more than willing to mentor you, and provide the guidance and to help you reach your career aspirations.
Interested in Kerry-Lee’s perspective of SNC-Lavalin? Search opportunities to see where you’ll fit in.