Today I’m talking with Emma Comrie-Thomson who is a Senior Environmental Consultant with 4Sight Consulting. She specialises in risk and compliance management.
Emma describes herself as a water baby; having grown up in, on, under and around the water. She is passionate about protecting the environment for future generations , especially in New Zealand.
Emma studied at both Otago University and the University of Auckland – completing her post graduate studies in Geography and Environmental Science. She worked in the water industry for a while and says that working in an industry largely dominated by males provided both challenges and rewards. One of the first challenges she met was working with considerably older male engineers on capital works and earthmoving projects. She remembers one particular man who, when she arrived on site dressed in her work boots, hard hat, work pants and hi-viz jacket, greeted her by saying “Don’t trip over in your high heels and fall in the stream”!
Emma also points out that all the work and protective gear that you have to wear on site is only made for men, not women. As I have found out myself, this means that it is almost impossible for women to find gear that fits and is comfortable.
Emma is involved in Futureintech as a mentor to encourage young people to aspire to careers as technologists, engineers or scientists. She believes that girls can do anything.
Listen to the interview to see how Emma overcame the challenges she met and developed good relationships with the men she was working with. Also hear the advice that Emma has to give young women setting out in careers in environmental management.