Acres is celebrating 𝐖𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐤 by highlighting the contributions of the wonderful women that make up our team!
Get to know Sathika Witharana, a Project Coordinator in Acres’ Civil Department who was first introduced to the construction industry while on an internship as a field engineer.
𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫.
My role consists of analyzing costs, coordinating subcontractors, site visits, problem solving for projects I am involved in and helping the estimators with tendering. While working with Acres I have been involved in civil works for subdivisions, an infiltration basin, landfills, and a creek crossing.
𝐖𝐡𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧?
I was introduced to the construction industry while working an internship as a field engineer at the Red Deer Interchange project. I was lucky to have some great mentors and during that time I realized that I love being able to work in both the office and the field while seeing daily progress of our crews. I also realized that there was an endless amount of learning opportunities that I did not learn directly from my degree in engineering. Construction brings together people from different educational backgrounds with a variety of skills to achieve a common goal – to construct a project.
Some days I found myself working closely with carpenters to understand all the components and production aspects of how formwork is installed and other days I was doing take-offs in the office to help the superintendent. After that project I decided I wanted to stay in the industry and see where it takes me!
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐧𝐣𝐨𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐣𝐨𝐛?
I enjoy that every project I get to work on is unique in its own way and my role consists of different tasks every day. Some days I am on site looking at progress and coordinating with the superintendent. While other days I might be working closely with a project manager problem solving or discussing efficiencies.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐲?
It can be intimidating stepping into a male dominated industry but be approachable, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be keen to learn. Every day is different and there is always a lot to learn in the industry.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐟𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐲?
Being a 5ft tall female of color in the industry I certainly stick out like a sore thumb. During some of my jobs in the industry I found it difficult to give direction and provide feedback to field employees. I always thought, ‘how am I supposed to give feedback and criticize their work when they are the experts in the field?’ I soon realized, most times if I understood and was able to explain why something had to be changed rather than simply giving direction to change something in the field, the workers were able to see me as part of the team rather than an outsider simply making their job harder.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐝 𝐨𝐟?
I am proud of all the projects to date that I have had the chance to contribute to and work on. From road construction, bridges, a hydro electric dam, oil mines to now developments, I have had the chance to work all over BC and Alberta while continuously learning and meeting a variety of individuals from different trades and backgrounds!