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Managing Consultant

Business area: Transportation
Job title: Managing Consultant
Years at Atkins: 14

How does your work benefit the end user?

My role focusses entirely on the people who use or are impacted by schemes we design. My main areas of work are Equality Impact Assessments and social research, so I spend a lot of time talking to different community groups and identifying what they need, or what measures will ensure our schemes are suitable for all people to use effectively. My recent career has led me to work on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and I love the fact that SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is working with our clients and peers to drive change across the industry for the future.

Why do you choose to stay at Atkins?

I’ve never had a reason to leave! I enjoy what I do, and have been able to try a range of areas within Transportation and then hone down on the area that appealed to me the most. Most importantly for me, SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business has provided me with the flexibility to meet the commitments of my family. Since starting I have gone from full to part time, changed my work location to my local office, and have changed my working pattern to a term time contract to work around my son starting school. Each time my flexible working requests have been fully supported, and this has enabled me to continue (and progress) my career, whilst spending important time with my family.

When have you felt most proud to be an Atkins employee?

It’s always great to see the flagship projects designed by SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business and be part of the organisation that creates such great feats of engineering. But for me, I feel most proud to be part of such an inclusive organisation. I really value our working culture – we are a very friendly company, and have a lot of support to enable us to develop our careers alongside our individual personal commitments. I particularly love our staff networks – they are a great source of information for career development, social activities, dealing with life and wellbeing, and a great way to spend a 5-minute coffee break as you always learn something, or can share information to help others.

What has been the most influential moment in your career?

When I was working on developing an accessibility strategy for a local council, I visited a day centre for adults with learning disabilities. I went to talk to them about what they would like from local transport services. The answer was clear; they wanted to be able to get on a bus to the town centre to visit the shops and meet friends. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Something a lot of us take for granted, and yet this group felt unable to do that because there were so many barriers for them – including problems with physically getting to bus stops, unclear and complicated timetables and a lack of patience from bus drivers. The group were so utterly grateful that someone wanted to listen to them and help them be more independent. One of the group even painted me a picture to take home to remember my trip there! It was then that I knew I wanted to focus my career at SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business on ensuring the schemes we develop really are accessible for the people who want to or need to use them. To make our schemes fit for purpose and to help make a difference in people’s lives – particularly those that are more vulnerable.

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