Focus on IWD: Jela Ivankovic-Waters

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning is shining a light on the integral work and careers of a selection of our staff. Jela Ivankovic-Waters is a PhD student at the University of Melbourne, researching transitional strategies for landscape architecture practices working in the digital realm.

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What is the one thing that you are most proud of as a woman working in the built environment and University sector?

Being able to learn from challenges and then expand opportunities by building relationships with a wider network of amazing women and men. My favourite part about working at the Melbourne School of Design is learning from people dedicated to excellence.

Do you have a strategy that you can share with us which has helped you in overcoming major challenges in your career?

Identifying priorities is difficult when you’re under pressure from multiple fronts. Self-care, especially rest helps to clarify those priorities and attend to the things within your control. There are also other people who all care about your well-being and your goals.  I draw inspiration from those other sources, including  research supervisors, my family and friends.

What is one piece of advice that you can share with women in academia and the built environment on how we can shape more inclusive workplaces?

Women’s lives are complicated by the varied and deep commitments they carry. We are doing the best we can with what we know at the time. Share the power of your wisdom - and compassion.

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