Celebrating Women

Digging Deep - The Women Behind Sydney's New Tunnel


A group of eight engineers at Endorsed Employer for Women CPB Contractors are taking on the complex and challenging tunnelling works at the WestConnex New M5 project,  with positions ranging from undergraduate roles to management and leadership positions. The women also offer a new set of diverse role models in an otherwise often male-dominated industry.

With the support of this group and other women at the project,  Katherine Scevity and Vimala Ferrari founded the group Women in Non-Traditional Roles (WINTR). The initiative has been established to encourage more women to join the construction industry and to provide active networking opportunities for women at the project. 

In addition to our engineers, women are filling a wide range of roles on the New M5, in disciplines including safety, environment and community relations.

Project Engineer Sharlott Misra (pictured first on the right), who is based at the Bexley tunnel site, said the complex technical environment of a major tunnelling project was an appealing challenge for engineers.

“Tunnelling involves all of the complexities of civil engineering construction but with more constraints posed by the conditions of working underground,” she said.

Bexley Foreman Fred Hill said team diversity and the skills brought by women were positive outcomes for the project and the industry.

“I enjoy working with the women engineers on our team as they contribute strong communication and planning skills,” he said.

“It is an important outcome that we are seeing a growing number of women who are interested in tunnelling and other industry sectors, and that we support them in their endeavours.”

WINTR aims to build networks for women in non-traditional roles, raise the profile of women on projects, and help retain and grow the number of women in technical and leadership positions.

CPB Contractors is working with Roads and Maritime Services , who are also a WORK180 Endorsed Employer for Women, to design and construct Sydney’s $4.3 billion New M5 Motorway in a joint venture with Dragados and Samsung C&T.

The project will deliver approximately 9km of new tunnels, motorway-to-motorway connections to the King Georges Road Interchange Upgrade at Beverly Hills and a new interchange at St Peters.

Major works commenced in mid‐2016 and the New M5 is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2019.

_Pictured (L-R) – Bethany Bent (Site Engineer), Awani Gajjar (Site Engineer), Georgia Moo (Safety Graduate) and Sharlott Misra (Project Engineer). _


About CPB Contractors 

CPB Contractors is an Endorsed Employer for Women. Join a performance-based culture and build a rewarding career. Learn more and apply for great job opportunities at CPB Contractors  who offers: 

  • Flexible working
  • 10 weeks paid parental leave
  • Internal women's networking groups
  • Mentoring & coaching programs

 + More on their Best Employer page.   

Browse and apply and for their jobs here. 


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WORK180 is a jobs board with a difference! We pre-screen employers on paid-parent leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements and more. Find your dream job here.


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