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News & opinion

5 NOV 2018

Women of the Future Awards: Recognising your inspirational finalists

Meet the finalists for Women of the Future Award: Real Estate, Infrastructure & Construction category.

The Women of the Future Awards are the platform for showcasing successful young women in Britain. Now in their thirteenth year, the awards continue to unearth and recognise the inspirational stars of tomorrow.

RICS will sponsor the Real Estate, Infrastructure & Construction category. The nominees represent sectors across the built environment, including: 2017 Young Surveyor of Year Apprentice winner Kimberley Hepburn (TfL); Jennifer Green (Arcadis); Katie Kelleher (AOL); Helen Kings (Touchstone); and Tara Shirvani (EBRD). With less than two weeks to ceremony night we caught up with nominees to find out what it means to them being a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards.

Kimberly Hepburn

Kimberly Hepburn is a Junior Quantity Surveyor at Transport for London (TfL), enthused by her history-making job on the largest London Underground project since the 1980s: the Northern Line Extension. This project is nestled within the iconic Battersea Power Station Development area, where Kim directly supports commercial matters arising from the developer’s interface with the project.

As a degree apprentice, Kim has been studying a part-time QS degree whilst working on major projects across TfL's services, including commercially managing a multi-million-pound contract to refurbish arches in White City, at just 21 years old.

Kim, recently appointed onto the RICS Matrics Board, was awarded the inaugural RICS Apprentice of the Year title in 2017. She has spoken at the RICS Diversity and Inclusion Conference, Estates Gazette's ‘The Workplace of Tomorrow’ Summit and regularly writes articles to inspire the next generation of built environment professionals.

We asked Kim: What does it mean for you to be a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards?

“To me, being a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards means being a part of evolution. I feel like I have joined a community of doers and exceptional female talent, where all barriers are banished and replaced with the sheer support and sponsorship necessary to evolve businesses, industries and societies. The Women of the Future platform really does empower you to change the world.”

Jennifer Green

Jennifer is Director at Arcadis and the Sector Leader for Healthcare, responsible for setting and delivering the Sector strategy, building the firm’s market position, and creating a high performing team culture. As Arcadis UK People First Forum Chair, Jennifer works closely with Senior Leadership to develop and implement the best possible employee value propositions across the business.

We asked Jennifer: What does it mean for you to be a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards?

“I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for the Women of the Future award and to follow in the footsteps of so many other inspirational women! I felt slightly self-conscious and nervous speaking out about my achievements, but I would encourage everyone to go for it and be proud about what you and your teams are doing! Being part of such an exceptional network of talented people, sharing stories of successes and challenges is truly inspiring.”

Katie Kelleher

Katie started on a lifting technician apprenticeship with Select a little over four years ago and went on to operate cranes on the Crossrail & Tideway projects. Currently, Katie is a Trainee AP working at Tideway.

We asked Katie: What does it mean for you to be a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards?

“For me, the Women of the Future Awards means opportunity. Opportunity to make a difference for women in construction, for diversity in construction and an opportunity to push change."

Being a finalist will allow me to get my message to the right people and make a bigger impact with the backing of Women of the Future than I would on my own. I am also looking forward to meeting more like-minded people.”

Helen Kings

Helen is currently Managing Director of Touchstone, one of the largest property management firms in the UK and part of the Places for People Group. She leads a business of over 200 employees, which manage homes across the UK for some of its biggest residential landlords.

We asked Helen: What does it mean for you to be a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards?

“It’s amazing to be finalist in the Women of the Future Awards, and I’m really proud to be part of such an inspirational group of women. It’s great to see women breaking the mould and succeeding in real estate, infrastructure and construction.”

Dr Tara Shirvani

Dr. Shirvani oversees the commercialisation of digitally enabled transport services at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. She is leading the dialogue with private and public-sector clients on how the organization can best implement Artificial Intelligence and digitalisation solutions in the mobility space. She is actively working together with clients in Georgia; the Balkans; and the Middle East on incorporating projects such as drone technology, the Internet of Things, Data Analytics, machine learning and robotics in traditional infrastructure projects.

Prior to working at EBRD, Dr Shirvani managed large-scale infrastructure projects at the World Bank Group for Sub-Saharan Africa. Her career began working for the United Nations followed by investment banking at Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. Tara has received many awards for her work including Times of London Top 100 Rising Star in Science and Engineering, Forbes 30 under 30, Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society Global Female Rising Talent, and WEF Global Shaper.

We asked Tara: What does it mean for you to be a finalist in the Women of the Future Awards?

“I am deeply humbled, shocked and euphoric all at the same time as to me the reward is earned in the hours that no one is watching. It is a long and rocky road towards success and having the acknowledgement and recognition from peers along the way for the hard work you put in is a great blessing and motivation to keep on pushing forward.”

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