Asset Management and Inclusion: Ella Hingston's push for education and opportunity for all
A passion for engineering and creating a workplace that’s fun, inclusive and rewarding are two main drivers for Brisbane-based Asset Management Engineer Ella Hingston.
Ella has been at Cardno since she graduated from university obtaining a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with Honours, starting out as a Graduate Engineer with our Asset Strategies team.
Her passion for engineering stemmed from a love of high school subjects that were challenging and also sparked creativity.
“Since high school, I have been drawn to subjects that rely on critical thinking and creativity,” Ella said.
“While the subjects that usually come to mind for budding engineers are mathematics and science, I was also drawn to subjects such as English and music, which I’ve now come to recognise as subjects that are pivotal for thinking critically and creatively.”
From the outset, Ella has aimed for excellence in her role, absorbing information and working with experienced asset management professionals to gain insight into her chosen field to support her progression as a consulting engineer.
“My desire to go beyond the realm of traditional engineering has laid the platform for a career in asset management,” said Ella.
“I have been fortunate to come into a team of technical leaders who have supported me every step of the way.”
Now, as an established asset management professional who works across all aspects of the discipline, Ella is an integral part of our Asset Strategies team, delivering a diverse range of projects across Australia.
Her career at Cardno largely began with performing building condition assessments and forecasting expenditure requirements for various facilities throughout Queensland, ranging from residences on Thursday Island to hospitals in Cherbourg and nearby regional towns.
Since then, Ella has taken on an increasing number of projects in strategic asset management and assurance.
These projects range from the review of costs for operating river management structures in the River Murray System, to the development and implementation of an evaluation framework for emerging technologies in the Australian and New Zealand road sectors.
“What’s amazing about working in Cardno’s Asset Strategies team is the opportunity to work on a different type of project in a different sector each day, linking what we do to the benefits we provide to the communities in which we live, work and play,” Ella said.
Ella’s passion for asset management goes beyond the standard 9 to 5, as she is helping to grow the discipline which she loves through her work with the Asset Management Council – Brisbane Chapter.
“Early in my career, I learnt a lot from industry events and seminars held by industry associations, and these events are only possible through volunteers,” said Ella.
“In 2019, I decided to join the Asset Management Council – Brisbane Chapter’s committee helping to create and facilitate these learning opportunities.”
Ella’s work in the asset management world also extends into the inclusion space, as she looks to foster greater diversity within the wider asset management community.
As an advocate for women, Ella is currently the Queensland Lead for the Asset Management Council’s Women in Asset Management (WiAM) special interest group.
The group is the professional home for women in asset management aiming to raise women’s awareness of the discipline, the contributions they make, career opportunities and exchange ideas on a technical level.
This work goes hand-in-hand with what she does internally as a key member of our Women in Cardno working group.
In this group, Ella works with a global committee to provide greater opportunities for women across the business to advance their careers and in a supportive environment.
“Like many engineering-related disciplines, a challenge in asset management is attracting women,” Ella said.
“Through Women in Cardno, we have found that the common underlying driver for women in STEM disciplines is the desire to make a difference.
“We have embraced this desire and have been highlighting how careers in engineering and STEM fields can make a difference to help attract and retain women.”
Ella’s campaign to create better opportunities and career paths doesn’t just stop with her working introducing and supporting women in the areas of STEM, it also extends to those in the formative stages of their careers.
“Forty years down the track, when I look back at my career, the success of my career will not be measured by my individual growth or achievements, but rather by the impact I have on others and the world around me,” said Ella.
By taking a leading role in growing Cardno’s Young Professionals Group across APAC, and by actively participating in external committees, I hope to support the next generation in finding their feet, making connections, and excelling in their careers.”