Paving the industry’s path to equality

Engineering and construction company Clough is committed to ensuring it provides an inclusive and supportive environment for all staff.

The Australian Pipeliner spoke to women from the organisation to learn more about how Clough has helped them flourish in their careers.

In February 2020, Clough was granted the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation for 2019-20 by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, a formal recognition of the company’s commitment and continued efforts to drive gender equality.

119 organisations across Australia met the high standards and rigorous assessment process required to become an EOCGE citation holder, but only two engineering and construction organisations were granted the recognition, an achievement the staff at Clough are incredibly proud to see the company receive. 

Longstanding employee Martine Nordh has been with Clough since 2009 and currently holds the position of Senior Planning Engineer. Through her years working on countless pipeline projects with the company, Martine says the “Cloughies” have always supported her. 

Martine takes pride in working for Clough, knowing that the company always hires based on who is the best candidate for the job. 

“I love working with this great bunch of people from all walks of life to successfully deliver projects for Clough and our clients,” says Martine.

Mahsa Goharfar joined Clough in 2013 and currently leads the East Coast and Papua New Guinea (PNG) Process Engineering team. Mahsa says Clough has always provided a supportive environment with flexible options to help staff achieve an appropriate work-life balance. 

“Clough provides flexibility in work hours which give employees more choice and opportunity to determine how they blend work and family responsibilities.”

Mahsa says she particularly loves the people and the culture and especially appreciates the open communications across the company about how Clough progresses as a business on its values. 

Rebecca Bicknell, a Structural, Mechanical and Piping Estimator at Clough, says the company has formalised its commitment to gender equality with a clear plan on how it will improve gender equality across the business.

“I am proud to see more women in senior roles in addition to male advocates for achieving gender equality in our industry,” says Rebecca. 

“Senior leaders are tackling the ‘traditional’ gender norms head-on and the consolidated message from all the leadership team is that a gender equal workplace is not an aspirational concept, it is the norm.” 

“A tool that supports this is our flexible approach to working, which allows everyone to adopt remote working and flexible work hours which has obvious benefits to those of us with family commitments.”  

“I have also been involved in a leadership mentoring program which has facilitated an open dialogue on all issues both operational and cultural with other leaders in the business.”  

“To me, this open conversation has re-affirmed Clough’s commitment to women in our industry from the top down.” 

Rebecca says she would tell young individuals aspiring towards a pipeline career they would have the opportunity to work in an exciting and diverse workplace at Clough, noting many different projects and sectors of the organisation the company offers. 

“Perhaps the most exciting thing that a young person can be involved in is change,” says Rebecca. 

“They will have the opportunity to work with a company that is committed to doing things differently and they might just even be the first generation to work in a truly gender equal workplace.” 

Supporting the next generation 

Clough prides itself on being a company that values its graduates and invests in their training and professional development, with some of the executive managers in high levels of the organisation starting as graduates once themselves. 

Current graduate Amanda D’souza is indicative of this investment, with her Clough career starting as an intern in 2018 and progressing to her position as a Graduate Electrical/Instrumentation Engineer in 2020. 

Amanda was given the opportunity to be a part of a wellsites and gathering network project when she took on her Graduate Engineer role, which she says felt daunting at first, but Clough’s support helped her ease any nerves. 

“The Clough team onsite were always so welcoming and supportive during my entire time there and made the entire experience one to remember,” says Amanda, adding that the Clough support system is something she loves most about the company. 

Amanda says Clough is engaged in a number of organisations that support women in the industry, and encourages staff to attend events that promote and honour excellence while making new connections and networking with others. 

Jocelyn Munck is also a part of Clough’s Graduate Program, beginning her career with Clough as an engineering intern before transitioning to the graduate role. Jocelyn says Clough constantly provides interesting and different opportunities that allow her to expand her knowledge, and she considers herself lucky to have excellent female role models within the company, including her discipline engineering line manager. 

“To be able to see women in positions of leadership and management is important for me as it inspires me to reach for those levels,” says Jocelyn. 

“What I enjoy the most is the people and working culture that has been developed. I have been given the opportunity to work with great mentors and talented engineers that are willing to spend time working on my development. Clough values their graduates and takes the time to make sure that they are being heard and receiving the opportunities they want.” 

Future steps

Clough Regional Manager for Queensland and PNG Ivor Peries says he has seen lots positive changes across the industry as it works towards gender equality which will only accelerate and further improve in the future. 

“At Clough, our business leaders have strong technical experience and enjoy mentoring and nurturing the next generation of engineers in their career development,” says Ivor.

“A workplace that fosters young talent and supports diversity has access to a much deeper talent pool and stimulates the sort of creativity that is the cornerstone of Clough’s delivery model.”

This article was featured in the October 2020 edition of The Australian Pipeliner. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the Clough website.

If you have news you would like featured in The Australian Pipeliner contact Managing Editor David Convery at dconvery@gs-press.com.au

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