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Elena Vrabie embraces a changing engineering world at Arcadis

Elena Vrabie embraces a changing engineering world at Arcadis

 June 06, 2019

Elena Vrabie, Senior Technical Director of Highways at Arcadis shares her career journey with Where Women Work.

Following in her father’s footsteps to become a civil engineer

My career started as soon as I made the decision to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a civil engineer at a time when only 5-10% of students were women. I was so interested in the profession that I followed him everywhere and spent most of my summer holidays on a construction site.

I believe that critical to the success of women in all workplaces there needs to be a clear understanding of the strengths required such as determination and dedication. Now I am using my positive experience to attract other women into the industry and mentor my teams to succeed. Arcadis has a strong mentoring scheme which organically creates learning communities and networks, enhances knowledge sharing and creates a highly supportive and safe environment to grow and develop.

Engineering is so much more than construction

Perceptions of our industry can be very male, and construction based. However, engineering is not just construction, it involves conceptual development and design, planning and management; the key is finding the right job for the right person.

I have a passion for forward thinking and any job opportunities I have pursued over the years have given me a chance to experience challenges around the world and work with some fantastic teams, making a lot of friends in the process.

Arcadis construction engineering work

Passionate about creating the best work environment

Arcadis strives to encourage women into the construction industry, right across the regions, I am passionate about creating the best work environment and I am using my passion to make the necessary changes one step at the time. As a co-lead for the ‘gender strand’ we continue to focus on making Arcadis the best place to work – following our recent wins; Sunday Times Top 25 Big Companies to work for, Glassdoor Best Places to Work in 2019 and one of the UK's top management consultancies by the Financial Times. Arcadis promote and support flexible working, recognising the need to work smarter, to deliver in an agile way.

Living in a changing world

The world we live in is changing. As long as the most watched programmes are reality TV shows, the younger generation will not see all the choices available to them. If there is something we need, it’s more role models - to give exposure to the younger generation for them to consider careers they wouldn’t have thought of.

Somebody asked me recently if there was anything I would change about my career. The answer is not at all - if I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Start an exciting career like Elena's with Arcadis

At Arcadis, everyone is empowered to share new ideas and to contribute their own unique special talents and abilities to the company. 

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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