Three Women, Three Careers, Three Questions: Jo Dougan

Introducing Jo Dougan … 

Jo Dougan is a Project Manager with John Holland and has over 15 year’s multi-discipline experience, specialising in rail and construction. She is currently working on the Rail Infrastructure Alliance in Melbourne. She has worked on a range of projects including construction, rail, communications, power, water, energy and residential/commercial new builds in both the public and private sectors. Her role requires delivering complex projects from end to end on time and within budget. Notable projects include the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project and the Victorian Line Upgrade in London.

Question 1: What would you say has been your greatest professional achievement?

Prior to arriving in Australia, I earned the opportunity to be involved with the Power, Communications & Cooling Upgrade Project on the Victoria Line of the London Underground. I had the honour of leading an amazing team to deliver major civil, mechanical, electrical, power and communication construction activities within high constrained central London locations, such as Park Lane and Mayfair to tight timescales whilst ensuring the existing rail network could operate a business-as-usual service.

The team I led was highly motivated and dedicated to successfully delivering critical works, against a backdrop of politically sensitive stakeholders including politicians, unions, high profile residents, local authorities and the London media.

Works involved complex technical interfaces to ensure the newly delivered systems integrated with existing assets to provide a seamless and safe network for London. Our construction sites included works opposite the iconic Ritz hotel through to ventilation and evacuation shafts hidden in apartment blocks in the middle of London.

Despite the enormity of the access and technical constraints involved in this program of complex major infrastructure works, the works were delivered safely, with no lost-time injuries on the job (whilst still delivering on time and budget).

The reason I call this out as my greatest professional achievement is that each day everyone involved in this high profile and the complicated project went home to their loved ones safe and as the mother of two preschool boys at the time, the importance of safely returning my construction family home each night sits at the top of the list.

Question 2: What would be your best piece of advice for a female considering joining the transport industry?

Go for it! Jump on board (no pun intended) the transport industry provides an ever-changing and rewarding career for a variety of different disciplines from design, media /communications, construction, finance, human resources – the options and endless and only bound by our imagination.

My advice is, back yourself, use your voice, you are good enough! If you have a seat at the table, you have earnt your right to be there, you may still be in the minority but don’t be afraid to voice your views, the industry will be better off for hearing a diversity of thoughts and ideas, and your ideas are no exception.

Question 3: Is there anything you would change about the transport industry, and why have you decided to stick around?

I’d love to see greater diversity, not just gender diversity, but the diversity of age, culture, experience, and gender across the industry.  I genuinely believe that greater diversity within our industry will result in a more diverse set of thoughts, ideas, problem-solving techniques which will enable our industry to respond to the many challenges ahead.

Throughout my career in Transport, I have worked in very diverse teams and have found, over time, that the teams who consistently were the highest performing had a diversity of highly diversity motivated people all contributing. These people have all shared the same goal and loved learning and working together and that’s why I have stuck around so long. I love working in construction in the Transport industry and learning something new every day.

There is never a dull moment!