Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Girl power in HDB

Erasing the notion that engineering is a male’s domain, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has been able to attract several female engineers to the field, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan (pictured) in his latest blog post.


Mr Khaw said he was pleasantly surprised to meet a number of female engineers at a recent HDB site visit, where six of the 10 engineers present were women.


The Minister recalled that when he was still studying in the 1970s, female engineers were a rare sight, but that doesn’t seem to be the case today. He even asked them for their reasons in joining the field and about the challenges they faced.


According to the women, the main advantage of being a HDB engineer is the wide variety of opportunities in the field; hence they have many different areas to apply their skills, such as developing and managing infrastructure and studying traffic impact.


In addition, they also get to oversee the development of a town from design to completion and design amazing engineering solutions for complex projects like Punggol Waterway and The Pinnacle@Duxton.


Nonetheless, there were some initial adjustments, especially at the construction sites.


One female engineer said that “it was initially awkward. At times, we had to make extra efforts to make our stand loud and clear through reasoning with the consultants and contractors. We had to show our ability to tackle difficult situations”.


Mr Khaw also commended the women “for having earned the respect of the contractors. I hope their stories will inspire more ladies to join engineering”.


Meanwhile, the housing board will organise the Professional Engagement and Knowledge (PEAK) Forum this week, recognising the invaluable contributions of building professionals and encourage the sharing of ideas and experiences.


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