Paying it forward

Sharon Daly is the Chief Operating Officer at Steer. Sharon is accountable for the operational aspects across the company’s 20 offices in Europe, North America, South America and India.

Sharon was a mentor in the pilot year of our Advance programme and has continued to meet with her mentee. In this guest blog, Sharon shares her experience of being an Advance mentor and shares her advice for women working in the transport sector looking to progress their career.

Sharon Daly, Chief Operating Officer, Steer

Sharon Daly, Chief Operating Officer, Steer

I was introduced to Women in Transport by Peter Twelftree, a previous MD at Steer, who has been a long time champion of women in the industry.

I felt quite compelled to volunteer for the Advance mentoring programme when I heard about it. I have hugely benefited from all that I’ve learnt thanks to time spent with the Directors at Steer, over the last twenty years, who have taken the time to teach me all that I know. Some of them I still regularly seek out advice from. How could I not want to pay a bit of that forward if I can?

At our first meeting I asked my mentee to draw her future, literally. I was asked to do this by a coach once and it was surprising how using marker pens and illustrations helps you get out of ‘list-mode’ (a mode many busy women survive in!). It can be uncomfortable but does, in my experience, open you up to some different thought processing.

I worry I get more out of our meetings than my mentee does. I’ve met an inspiring woman I wouldn’t have met otherwise and I find that our time together energises me.

What advice would I give? Perhaps overall I’d say every experience is something to learn from, even the rubbish ones. Take it all in and stay curious. The other thing I would say is to build a network of people to speak with. Almost everyone I’ve ever worked with in the industry, be they in my team, my clients, or partner organisations, are all people interested in the well-being and development of people. That’s why many of us got interested in transport and urban planning in the first place, it is about people!

“I’d say every experience is something to learn from, even the rubbish ones. Take it all in and stay curious.”

Our thanks to Sharon for taking the time to share her experience of being a mentor and for her support of Women in Transport. Steer sponsored our second Advance programme in 2019 and we are delighted to announce that they will be sponsoring our third programme for 2020.

About Steer: Steer is a firm of specialists: strategists, researchers, analysts, economists, planners, designers, engineers and technologists. Infrastructure, cities and transport are constantly evolving to meet new demands, new ideas and new technologies. Mixing rigour and technical expertise with an open-minded, imaginative approach, Steer helps its clients maximise opportunity and realise value within this rapidly-changing landscape.

The support of our corporate sponsors and partners allows us to keep our membership fee low and accessible to support all women working in the transport sector.   If you are interested in partnership with Women in Transport, please get in touch.

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