Cassidy’s journey with us began when she was offered a place on the Downer Basic Programme in 2017. Downer Basic was established by our Corporate Social Outcomes team in 2011 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development. The programme aims to create sustainable career pathways by introducing MSD clients to the infrastructure industry, providing work-related skills and qualifications, and offering holistic wrap-around support once employed.
Upon graduating from the programme, Cassidy started her career in the civil infrastructure industry as a Traffic Controller. Since then, her professional development has grown from strength to strength having moved into a Site Traffic Management Supervisor position, and into her role now as a Traffic Management Planner (TMP). She has also gained well over 10 credentials in the industry including STMS warrants, First Aid, Class 2 driver’s license, TTM Inspector, TTMP-NP, Health & Safety, and Mental Health First Aid.
In her current role, Cassidy designs Temporary Traffic Management diagrams and liaises with council, noise control, and other traffic and transport stakeholders to ensure everyone can work together safely. What Cassidy loves most about her job is the people. She has worked with the same team since she started, and the purpose of her role ensures their safety when they are out on the field.
Reflecting on her pathway into Downer, Cassidy says it gave her the opportunity to move to the capital at 19 and gain her confidence, while also being supported during the process. "Downer is really courageous to put so much time and effort into people. I really respect the company; it's the reason I have stayed so long, to be honest. Very few companies open-up pathways like this," says Cassidy.
Last year, Cassidy was nominated to participate in Te Ara Whanake Wāhine Toa programme, a leadership initiative developed by our Corporate Social Outcomes team specifically for Wāhine Māori. The objective of the programme is to identify, strengthen and build the leadership capabilities of wāhine across the business and have that leadership better reflect the communities they serve.
Cassidy shares that the Wāhine Toa programme reconnected her to her whakapapa and family history and provided her with the opportunity to build her leadership capabilities. "It's been a journey of rediscovery and growth since then, it’s really empowering."
Since then, Cassidy has become an active member of our Standout community, which exists to support, educate, and advocate for the rainbow community across our business.
Cassidy's passion for creating an inclusive workplace stems from her personal experience as a member of the rainbow community. Cassidy understands first-hand the challenges that members of the rainbow community face and she is committed to our mission of creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone at Downer.
Cassidy's future aspirations are to get into HR, as her dream job involves supporting people. She has now taken up studying Psychology part-time at Massey University, and her manager has supported her study timetable.
Looking back on her journey, Cassidy says, "I am two very different people from who I was before I joined Downer. I had been unemployed, which sucked. Trying to find a job in the small town I lived in was really hard. For Downer to give me a chance was amazing."
We are proud of Cassidy's journey and achievements. Cassidy's growth and success are a testament to her hard work, dedication, and our commitment to providing opportunities that enable our communities to thrive. We believe in investing in our people and communities, and Cassidy's success story is just one example of how that investment pays off.