Building a bright and diverse future with DCWC

Leslie Chung, Director of Infrastructure, Donald Cant Watts Corke.

Roads & Infrastructure sits down with Leslie Chung, Director of Donald Cant Watts Corke (DCWC) National Infrastructure team, to discuss how the company is supporting its diverse workforce.

With a ratio of six to seven female to male employees, the National Infrastructure team within DCWC is one of the most diverse professional services teams in the infrastructure industry.

As part of an end-to-end project services company with over 50 years’ history, DCWC’s Infrastructure team offers integrated consultancy services on some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects, from Victoria’s North East Link Project to New South Wales’s Western Sydney Airport and many more across rail, road, aviation, water treatment, dams and marine sectors. 

When asked how the diversity has benefitted the team, Leslie Chung, Director of DCWC’s National Infrastructure team, says inclusion of diverse professionals has not only supported the delivery of multi-billion-dollar projects, but also helped to foster greater creativity.

“I can confidently say that some of our successes have been directly attributed towards our diverse backgrounds. Diverse backgrounds allow different viewpoints to shine. It creates creativity based on cultural differences and that’s what sets us apart,” he says.

“As markets are increasingly becoming more competitive, diversity is what allows new ideas to be formed. These new ideas are what our clients value ultimately in the DCWC brand.”

Benefits for business

As part of its services, DCWC delivers advice throughout every stage of a project. This includes quantity surveying, project management and associated services. The National Infrastructure team focuses on cost advisory, public-private partnership advisory, constructability, and project delivery management.  

Chung says that diversity plays a major role in the delivery of these services.

“Because of our inclusive and diverse professionals, we have successfully won and delivered multiple billion-dollar projects. As both state and Australian federal government projects shift to prioritise value-aligned contractors, being able to highlight our Local Industry Development Plan (LIDP) and diversity policies and inclusions have made all the difference when tendering for a project,” he says.

From left: Vicky Bui, Quantity Surveyor; Janet Yuen, Associate and Gloria Ling, Quantity Surveyor at Donald Cant Watts Corke.

“This translates to our signature trusted advice and outstanding results, which is ultimately what our clients value most from our team,” he says.

Chung adds that providing equal opportunity is a small step in shaping a stronger industry for future industry professionals.

“Whilst our industry has come a long way in supporting women in construction, we always believe more can be done. With billions of dollars announced by both state and federal governments for infrastructure projects, I believe we can certainly benefit from increasing [presence of] women with diverse backgrounds in leadership positions,” he says.

Such benefits are already being demonstrated by DCWC’s Infrastructure team, which is encouraging its employees to gain experience in senior positions.

“To foster and celebrate our diversity of ideas in our people, we include our personnel in rare project leadership positions, juxtaposed against our directors so that they can receive mentorship,” Chung says. “They are always actively finding solutions with our clients, an aspect which our clients love.”

Attracting the right talent 

Fostering a diverse and inclusive working environment does come with its challenges, Chung says. 

“There are always challenges. It is one thing to superficially state that a company is fostering diversity, but it requires significant investment to truly live, breathe and be accountable for diversity,” he says.

But as Chung explains, the result can open the doors to attracting talented professionals. He says this is especially important, with the infrastructure industry currently struggling with a shortage of skills.

“A leader who truly wants to excel and attract the right talent needs to look at their personal values and ask themselves if their team environment is where people would feel safe, supported, and ultimately enjoy working for,” he says.

“A lot of companies brag the rights that they are the best company, but what metric is that based on? I truly believe that if companies can sell their values and the ‘why’ to potential candidates, the right talent will come along.”

Investing in the future

DCWC’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity also aligns with the company’s other social responsibility initiatives.

DCWC’s Reconciliation Working Group works to further support the national reconciliation movement through the business’s practices. While the ‘Green Team’ works to reduce the internal footprint on the environment.

“Our organisation is committed to many corporate social responsibility initiatives, including areas such as diversity, sustainability, community, education and reconciliation,” Chung says. “Nationally, the company supports a range of community and social centric initiatives, charities and causes each year.”

Supporting these causes can all be inspired by supporting internal change first, Chung says.

“The construction industry has come a long way towards building a better and brighter future for generations to come, and DCWC is proud to be a part of that. However, we know there is always more to be done,” he says.

“Building this future is much easier to do when you have a team of passionate and motivated employees in an organisation that supports this cause.” 

This article was originally published in the April edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.



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