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Celebrating International Women’s Day 

March 27, 2024

Interview: Hildha Hidzir

Assistant Quantity Surveyor (Rail E&P)

On March 8th, we were proud to celebrate International Women’s Day. But celebrating the success of women is about more than one day. We should consistently recognise women’s contributions, amplifying their voices, and demanding action for a world where gender inequality is unfortunately still a reality.

To shine a light on the incredible achievements of women worldwide, Octavius are thrilled to share our conversation with employee, Hildha Hidzir, a talented Quantity Surveyor, whose work is literally shaping our communities.

Hildha was recently recognised in our Octavius Colleague Awards in the Paul Marjoram – Trainee of the yearcategory. The commendation specifically recognised her as an exceptional trainee who has embraced Octavius, adding value with knowledge and skills.

What first sparked your interest in engineering, and quantity surveying?  

When I was in primary school, I used to watch a TV show called “Megastructure” with my dad who is a civil engineer. He always shared his knowledge and passion for engineering with me, which I found fascinating. I was amazed by the effort required to build buildings and infrastructure. As a result, I chose to pursue my study in Quantity Surveying.

What does a quantity surveying do day to day?

My day-to-day job includes managing the costs, administrating contracts, liaising with clients, and managing subcontractors. I regularly participate in team and client meetings, attend training sessions and workshops, and occasionally visit project sites to ensure smooth operations. 

What’s the most exciting part about being a quantity surveyor?

There is always something new to learn every day. This includes expanding my contractual knowledge, keeping up with regulations and statutory requirements, understanding construction methodology, and more. This knowledge helps me build up costs, forecast them, and assess any claims made by subcontractors. Learning something new daily keeps my job exciting!

Have you faced any unique challenges as a woman in the field of engineering? If so, how did you address them?

I personally haven’t faced any unique challenges while working in this field. However, I am aware that some women face greater responsibilities, such as working mothers who strive to balance their work and personal lives, or those who feel left behind when returning from maternity leave. These issues can be addressed through more flexible work arrangements, or policies, and by spreading more awareness.

How do you think we can make engineering environments more inclusive for women?

I believe there is a lack of women occupying senior and high-level position roles across the industry. If we were to offer more skill-building training to enhance our technical skills, leadership and career advancement prospects, we could create a more inclusive and empowering work environment for women to progress in our careers.

Were there any female engineers who were role models or mentors for you?

I’ve no specific role models. However, I am glad to have met many great female engineers in the Octavius organisation.

How does your work as a quantity surveyor impact the community around you?

Working as a quantity surveyor in the Railway sector, I play a crucial role in ensuring the delivery of projects that are both cost-efficient and safe, while maintaining high standards of quality. Quantity surveyors do a lot of due diligence to ensure our teams, including suppliers, are compliant with standards and objectives whilst pricing competitively. This in turn, allows us to deliver better and more sustainable infrastructure, ultimately benefitting the communities we serve.

What does inclusion mean to you?

In my opinion, inclusion means that everyone should be able to feel that they are welcomed and be able to voice their opinions or practice their belief comfortably, without feeling discriminated against. I am grateful to be working at Octavius surrounded by supportive and understanding people who always uplift each other.   

To find out more about Careers at Octavius, visit our Careers Page or contact: Media@octavius.co.uk

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