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White Brick Wall

What route did you take to becoming a Regional Director?

Inspired by a love for buildings I studied a Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying at the University of Kingston, a 4-year sandwich degree. I graduated with an upper higher degree in 2002.

Having worked a Quantity Surveyor for 4 years I learnt that my natural skill set and passions were more aligned to Project Management, so I embarked on a MSc in Project Management at the University of Reading. The degree not only gave me an understanding of the processes and procedures required to manage a construction project, but it also taught me leadership and management skills vital for my role as a Project Manager. I also gained an understanding of the complexities of managing a construction project and the challenging environments within which they operate. I particularly enjoyed the construction contract law modules and learning about the issues which can arise.   My dissertation was focused on whether it is the soft or hard skills which make a Project Manager successful.

I became a Chartered Surveyor by passing my Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) for the Royal Institution of Surveyors (RICS). Stemming from my passion to contribute to my profession and to help the next generation of Project Managers, I trained to become an RICS APC Assessor in 2012 and a Chairperson in 2016.  

How does your work affect people’s lives and the world around us?

In my career I have worked as a Project Manager, Development Manager, Programme Manager and Employer’s Agent. I have worked in many sectors including, sports, commercial, culture and master planning. I have worked for Clients including; Shell, BP, Canadian High Commission, London Borough of Camden, Argent and more recently British Land. I have been fortunate to work on international projects in Cairo, Barbados, Dublin, Copenhagen and Belfast. 

Currently I am working on the Canada Water masterplan which is one of the largest mixed use regeneration projects in London covering 53 acres. I manage the delivery of AECOM’s Development Management and Employer’s Agents service, a team of 10 Project Managers, from Project Directors to Apprentices. I am responsible for the delivery of the first phase of the Masterplan. This role requires me to be responsible for the coordination and delivery of six separate construction contracts and associated Infrastructure and public realm projects. I have not only impacted communities with the projects that I have worked on but have created new communities which will leave a lasting legacy. 

"I have not only impacted communities with the projects that I have worked on but have created new communities which will leave a lasting legacy."

White Brick Wall
Anita Suji.jpg

I have not only impacted communities with the projects that I have worked on but have created new communities which will leave a lasting legacy.”

My name is Anita Suji and I'm a Regional Director at AECOM. I’ve been working within the industry for 20+ years now. 

I have always loved beautiful buildings and the impact which they have on the people within them and the communities they create. I can’t say that I have always wanted to be a Quantity Surveyor or even a Project Manager but I was encouraged to consider a degree in Quantity Surveying by my college lecture. I had an interest in law also and this was seen as a perfect fit. I have never looked back.

How does it feel to be a Woman in a Senior position? Especially as overall, the Construction Industry is still male dominated in senior/boardroom positions...

Currently I am representing female leadership as one of two females in my position in a team of 100. I feel grateful that I am working in an organisation which recognises the contributions of women as equally as men. Yes, there are not as many women in positions of seniority as the percentage of men outweighs men, however we have some great senior female role models within our organisation who encourage and promote women. Having worked in the construction industry for over 20 years being the only female in a room full of men doesn’t faze me anymore. I recognise that my contributions are just as important as theirs and I have built up respect and a reputation for myself in my career. 

What are some challenges you personally face at work?

I often find that I am a victim of imposter syndrome and sometimes I wonder why I am in my role ! However, I pick myself up and remind myself how hard I have worked to get to this position and that I deserve it!

Every day is different and that is what keeps me motivated. There are new challenges which are presented each day and I thrive off these challenges. I enjoy solving issues which arise within my team, construction projects or with new ventures.

Anita Suji.jpg

What’s the best thing you like about your role?

I love seeing the transformation of a design into a building. Watching construction projects being built is truly amazing. I have the privilege of working with some of the most innovative minds within the construction industry, I have worked with award winning Architects and Engineers. The team spirit is great, everyone is pulling in the same direction with the common aim of completing the project. 

"For any young woman wanting to climb up to my role level, Go for it. You will probably find that you have the necessary skill sets. Careers in Construction and Engineering are hugely rewarding and I love walking around London being able to say ‘I worked on that building’."

Outside of your role, what else are you involved in Industry wise?

I am involved in quite a few things! To list a few:

  • I am responsible for the Apprentice scheme.    

  • I am part of the Graduate Development team involved in recruitment, training and supporting Graduates in the role of Supervisor and Counsellor to assist them in achieving their chartership status.

  • I take an active part in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as a member of the RICS global assessor community. I have been assessing and chairing the Assessment of Professional Competency (APC) for over 10 years. 

  • SHE builds project – www.shebuilds.uk a project which seeks to inspire women into jobs in construction. My hope is that this project connects women interested in joining the profession with mentors who can support them in their journey. 

  • I mentor and train future Project Managers. I am invested in developing the next generation of Project Managers.

  • Outside of work my time is devoted to my two sons, I have recently taken up indoor climbing with my eldest as someone who is afraid of heights, I have surprised myself with this new hobby.

  • LinkedIn

Anita Suji

Websitewww.shebuilds.uk 

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