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Insights Empowering Diversity and Engineering Excellence: Wendy Tse's Story at Atkins Hong Kong

Wendy Tse is Associate Technical Director for Highways and Transport at Atkins Hong Kong, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group. She grew up in Canada and started her career in New York City. 

After relocating to our Hong Kong office 10 years ago, she went on to play an important role in several Hong Kong International Airport projects. #InsideAtkins caught up with Wendy to hear her story and find out how her team embraces Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. 

image of Wendy smiling with a white background

Congratulations on your 10th anniversary with Atkins! How did you come to work at the Hong Kong office?

“Thank you! After living and working in North America for a few decades, it was time for a change. While on vacation in Asia, I'd arranged an interview at Atkins in Hong Kong. 

It was Christmas Eve 2010, after the office holiday party, that I met Dickson Law, now our Department Head, and Douglas Simmons. 

I was welcomed during the interview. They made me feel I could overcome any culture shock and settle into Hong Kong as part of the Atkins family. 

In retrospect, there isn't much difference between working in New York City and Hong Kong. Both are multi-cultural, fast-paced metropolitan cities, bustling with life.” 

It goes without saying that we spend a big part of our lives together – so at the office, we make each other feel at home. In between pushing the boundaries of innovation, we bring a personal touch and enjoyment to everything we do. And that is our culture

How did you get to where you are today?

“I've always put extra effort into proving myself because both women and men have stereotypes against women. 

Men and women should have a part to play in ensuring gender equality in the work environment. Equality itself means different things to different people.

But at Atkins, I'm privileged to have supportive seniors on the team. They've provided me with the guidance I needed to grow the team from four to over 20 members. 

I've gone through myriad challenges over the years. I became a working mother, balancing work and two children. During that time, I progressed from a senior engineer to an associate technical director in the growing Atkins Hong Kong family.” 

Diversity is important to us. It enhances our ability to understand our clients and communities – so we can create more innovative, sustainable and inclusive solutions.

Yet Equality, Diversity & Inclusion are about much more than business performance. It's about creating a more welcoming place to work, where everyone feels valued and free to share ideas. 

Tell us about your biggest career highlight so far

“I primarily work on Airport projects. And the Hong Kong Airport Island has just been getting bigger and bigger since I first set foot on it. Developments have included the Western Apron to the Midfield and the Third Runway System (3RS).

I've really enjoyed working on 3RS. It's more than just a new runway. The expansion work is equivalent to a new airport. The provisional expansion meets growing demands ensuring Hong Kong remains competitive with the rest of the world. 

What makes your team so unique?

“Our airport team has a good number of female engineers on the core design team. We create a harmonious working environment by supporting and teaching each other. Our diversity of views and ideas has resulted in a more efficient and productive team fit for demanding airport projects. 

The core team is also made up of members from different cultural backgrounds. We come from the UK, Malaysia, Mainland China, Ireland, the US and Canada! 

The team pools our knowledge, eliminating unconscious bias; we respect each other's strengths and interests, maximize productivity and, of course, strive to outperform our competitors.” 

How do you stay equipped for change?

“Transcendence is a new trend in engineering consultancy. It means rising above oneself into unknown and new places. 

We're at the point where our clients demand the very best. So, we strive to be charismatic and resilient, focus on the customer experience. 

We never forget that clients are also searching for more innovative solutions to their problems. Being transcendent encourages and inspires us to build great infrastructure.” 

We value innovation at Atkins Hong Kong and this value helps our teams to redefine engineering by thinking boldly, proudly and differently.

What do you love most about Atkins?

“Atkins embraces everyone's values. A diverse work environment where different opinions are heard is the best type of work environment. 

I also appreciate that I can work flexible hours at Atkins. 

It has allowed me to support my children when they need me and this flexibility even extended to my pregnancy. When I was unable to find suitable childcare after my maternity leave, Atkins was kind enough to extend my maternity leave.” 

We understand that everyone has a life outside the office and that it can look different for each of us. That’s why we support flexible working whether you’re a doting parent or you have caring responsibilities. 

Do you have any encouragement for young women engineers?

“Don't be afraid to speak up, to ask others. Sometimes women miss out because they're afraid to ask for help or ask for advice. And you will be surprised often how many people are willing to help. 

Diversity of opinions leads to a more holistic approach and, therefore, higher achievement. That's what I cherish the most here in Atkins. 

If you don't believe in the glass ceiling, it does not exist. Our CEO, Catherine Li, is a role model for many women professionals, encouraging us to keep pushing our boundaries further.” 

Atkins Hong Kong is waiting for you…

We’re proud of the work we do and that we are an employer of choice. 

As a global leader in design and engineering, we endeavour to create world-class teams who dare to think differently and challenge what’s come before.

Learn more about Atkins Hong Kong now.