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Q&A: Talking with Jacobs Executive Director Sales, New Zealand, Juliet Woodward

Jacobs’ Executive Director Sales, New Zealand, Juliet Woodward talks career, her STEAM heroes and her passion for cooking and skiing.

Juliet Woodward is a chemical and process engineer, with post-graduate qualifications in environmental management, and currently leads our client relationship teams across New Zealand (NZ) in all sectors including water, transport, power, health, pharmaceuticals, cities and places and environmental. She is a Director and Board Member of Jacobs New Zealand and has been with the company for over 27 years. She is also a Board Member of the Eastern Busway Alliance and recently became a Fellow of Engineering NZ.

With experience across NZ, Australia and the U.K., Juliet's roles have included governance and organizational leadership, as well as leading multidisciplinary environmental and engineering teams to deliver significant transport and water infrastructure projects. Today, she serves as Executive Director of Sales.

In honor of International Women in Engineering Day, we’re connecting virtually with our team of engineering heroes around the world to showcase their careers and how each of them help Jacobs to live up to our promise of Challenging today. Reinventing tomorrow.

For this feature, we talked with Juliet about career, the STEAM heroes who inspire her and her passion for cooking and skiing.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on these days.

I am leading a major pursuit for one of our key clients, a transformative project for the largest city in NZ that will solve transport challenges by providing mode choice, address climate change and deliver urban regeneration outcomes.  I am also leading some strategy initiatives for our New Zealand market including decarbonization and social value initiatives.

What’s your favorite part of your role?

Meeting very cool people every day and connecting with clients to solve their challenges.  Working with our amazing staff here in NZ, and also global specialists, that can deliver world-leading skills to local projects.

We’re publishing this article in honor of International Women in Engineering Day and this year’s theme is Engineering Heroes. Who are some of the heroes who inspired you to pursue a career in STEAM?

My uncle – he was an engineer in the energy sector.  My mum and dad, who always told me and my three sisters that we could be anything we wanted to be!  Girl power – we ended up as an engineer, doctor, architect and physiotherapist.

When you think of engineers or engineering as a hero, what does that mean to you?

Unsung heroes – helping to make our world and environment a better place for our mokopuna (grandchildren).

If you aren’t working, what would we be most likely to find you doing?

Cooking for people I love – I would be a chef if I hadn’t followed this pathway!

Most interesting career moment?

Working on a Waste Management Strategy for eight Pacific Nations – really impactful work for our precious environment.  This included conducting waste audits in the dumps in Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Fiji – yuck!

What would you rate a 10 out of 10?

Skiing in Courchevel, France – soft powder, pine trees and a stone chalet serving mulled wine.

Most proud career moment?

I have recently been made a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, New Zealand.  This made me (and my family) surprisingly proud, after just believing that what I do for a living is “normal”. 

What advice would you give to young professionals?

·        Know your “why”/”value”

·        If not sure, ask someone

·        Self-reflection is important

·        Everyone has imposter syndrome - fake it ‘til you make it

·        If you have a challenge with others’ personalities/behaviors - ask for help

·        Say yes to opportunities, projects, roles

·        Value any mentoring opportunities - these relationships will survive and create a “sponsorship”

·        Show your family a work-life balance!

People would be surprised to know that I….

Worked as a chalet girl in Courchevel France!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?

The relationships, friendships, opportunity to work (and connect) around the world.

Join #OurJacobs team

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable.

We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

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