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Senior Project Manager Beth Hackett (left), Senior Project Director Kate Houlden and Group Head Civic Infrastructure Hannah Clement are part of Development Victoria's team responsible for delivering some of Victoria’s most iconic infrastructure projects.

As Group Head of Civic Infrastructure at Development Victoria, Hannah Clement is acutely aware of how much she can influence and inspire young woman in the construction and infrastructure industry, including the female workforce at Development Victoria.

Hannah herself started at Development Victoria as a Senior Project Manager and has transitioned into the senior leadership team, working on a range of state-shaping projects.

She has an experienced and talented team around her, responsible for delivering some of Victoria’s most iconic infrastructure projects and as part of this team, a group of women who are taking on what was once a male-dominated industry.

Hannah believes Development Victoria’s portfolio of projects represent extraordinary opportunities for women interested in a career in the construction and property development industries, both at an entry and leadership level.

“We’ve been able to attract, retain and grow some extraordinary talent and support their career progression,” she said.

Development Victoria provides unique, challenging but rewarding career opportunities. These opportunities are enhanced by our diverse range of projects that deliver outcomes that really matter to our communities – making every workday worthwhile.

The $140 million Geelong Arts Centre's Little Malop Street Redevelopment is a perfect example of a Development Victoria project providing the opportunity for female staff to progress their careers.

These include Senior Project Manager Beth Hackett, Project Manager Sandra Dias and Assistant Project Managers Tiana Thorn and Anita DiCarlo who have all being able to progress their career during their time at Development Victoria. 

The project is overseen by Senior Project Director Kate Houlden who joined Development Victoria at the start of 2022 from a similar role in the Victorian water industry.

“The reality of a predominately female delivery team with responsibility for such a high-profile project such as the Geelong Arts Centre redevelopment is something I could not have contemplated in my lifetime when I first graduated,” Kate said.

“I am proud of this team, the supportive culture and the way they’ve worked through some complex challenges to produce an amazing project that will deliver great outcomes for Geelong and Victoria.

“It is fantastic to work with an organisation committed to fostering capability, supporting people to grow and develop, and move into more senior roles.”

Development Victoria is proud of its track record of supporting women in their careers and building gender equity right across the sector, as evidenced in our own team with CEO Angela Skandarajah and Board Chair, Megan Haas providing leadership of the organisation and Board. 

The strong gender equity in the leadership team is further evidenced with women holding five of the organisation’s eight executive positions, and greater than gender parity within the Development Victoria Board. 

Many talented women hold broader leadership roles across the organisation. The key to this outcome has been a collective awareness - and commitment - by the senior leadership teams to build understanding of the benefits of diversity, seeking to uncover ‘unconscious bias’ in recruitment decisions, rather than by imposing mandatory targets.

This article was contributed by Development Victoria and published in the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) 2022 Journal, which you can read here

Updated on 10 January 2023