Senior Project Manager
Passionate about all forms of positive change, Kate McNulty is leading the way for young women in construction. From rural England to sunny Australia, Kate’s love for problem solving has been a vital asset on her journey, as she continues to redefine the boundaries of ambition as a senior project manager in Melbourne.
- How did you get into what you do?
Growing up in Carlisle in the north of England, there really wasn’t much going on close to where I lived.
At school I was interested in maths, science, and art - I knew I found satisfaction in finding an answer to a problem, but I didn’t know what subject I wanted to pursue. After many long nights going back and forth with different options, I found civil engineering. It was something I’d never heard of but after doing my research, it ticked all my boxes and so I was then off to the University of Newcastle.
After gaining my degree at university and many weeks of work experience, I then looked for a graduate scheme - which is what led me to Mace.
- Why Mace?
Choosing Mace was really straightforward for me. Straight after university I wanted to join a graduate programme to help take the first steps in my career. I saw what Mace had to offer and the opportunities they provided to young adults seemed endless.
What cemented the decision were Mace’s values and priorities. I spent a lot of time on the Mace website, and the culture of the business really shone through. Mace wants to find new ways of working in order to succeed and as an avid problem solver, that certainly stood out to me.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
Be passionate and love what you do but also be realistic. You must walk before you can run and there are going to be challenges you will have to face - but once you overcome these it will just make your job more enjoyable. In this industry hard work pays off, so what you put in you will get out.
Always try to get out of your comfort zone and talk to those people who aren’t necessarily in your immediate team. And don’t be afraid to have conversations about your future. When I came back from travelling, I knew I didn’t want to stay in the UK. At Mace, there's so many opportunities overseas - so I had one of those conversations and now I’m on the other side of the world living a life I had only dreamed of.
- How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?
To me, redefining the boundaries of ambition is not just about what you do, it’s also your attitude and approach. Every day, I come into the office aiming to achieve and personally, there has been no better motivation then waking up and knowing you’ll be entering a room where everyone has the same supportive, entrepreneurial spirit. This year I have redefined the boundaries of ambition by moving to the other side of the world, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, achieving a dream of mine to work abroad.
As a woman in construction, I’m also redefining the boundaries of ambition every single day. Whilst studying civil engineering at university, people would constantly tell me that construction is a male-dominated industry. Since joining Mace, I’ve been able to be part of the team that launched our internal ‘Women at Mace’ network. At Mace, I’m able redefine the scope of the workforce by promoting diversity, inclusion and making women feel empowered in the business. The industry’s gender imbalance has long been a challenge but seeing how keen Mace are to have a strong female presence within the business and the gradual change that is taking place really does inspire me.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
Working on 70 St Marys Axe in London has been a standout for me in my career so far. Not only was it such an iconic project to be a part of but the memories that I formed there also fill me with joy. It was such a good team, and everyone worked together to overcome any challenges we faced. If somebody was to ask me to define what Mace is all about, I would show them that team. Hard working and passionate but every day was filled with smiles and laughter.
- What is something that not many people know about you?
Here in Australia I now have beautiful golf courses on my doorstep. So it’s persuaded me to get back into my old habits and start playing again. It has become even more enjoyable as I can now beat my husband at his favourite sport.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love painting. One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is to sit by the window with my easel and paint what I see. It brings me a sense of calmness that I’m able to bring into work. As a senior project manager, you have to make many decisions, so having a level head when doing this is key and painting helps in keeping this.
“The industry’s gender imbalance has long been a challenge but, seeing how keen Mace are to have a strong female presence within the business and the gradual change that is taking place really does inspire me.”