Bridging the gender gap in the Maldives’ construction industry
- Australia Awards
After her Australia Awards Scholarship, Shaana Farooq from the Maldives started overseeing all of her country’s most significant infrastructure projects.
Farooq, Australia Awards alumna, is currently overseeing the first ever bridge
construction project for the Maldives.
a leading woman in the Maldives’ male-dominated construction industry, Shaana
inspires young women to work in the field of construction. She is not only
breaking through gender norms, but also leading on pioneering construction
projects contributing to and influencing her home country’s development.
an Australia Awards Scholarship, Shaana undertook a Master of Construction Law
at Melbourne Law School. Now, as the Director General of the Infrastructure
Department at the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure in the Maldives,
Shanna leads a team of multidisciplinary professionals, formulating and
implementing major infrastructure development projects.
addition to overseeing the development of roads, causeways and now bridges,
Shaana takes responsibility for leading on reclamation and shore protection,
local access harbour construction and social housing. These projects under her
portfolio account for more than USD100 million in the national budget each year
and are worth more than USD300 million in the form of loans or grant aid from
international funding agencies.
undertaking her Australia Awards Scholarship, Shaana received a Bachelor of
Science (Hons) in Construction Management and held numerous roles at the
Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure. Shaana joined the construction field in
2001 as a young enthusiast of the industry. She initially worked as a Project
Officer Trainee assisting in the administration of national tender procurement
of development projects, and had a passion to learn more.
to the knowledge Shaana gained through her studies in Australia—as well as her
interaction with fellow professionals, including construction industry
practitioners and lawyers working on development projects all around the
world—Shaana is now able to apply best approaches and principles in the local
context when formulating major development projects.
bridge construction project Shaana is currently overseeing is one of the most
ambitious projects she has undertaken to date. The USD190 million project is
one of the highest valued infrastructure projects in the Maldives, being
implemented through grant and local financing. This was her first opportunity
after completing her Australia Awards Scholarship to apply the skills she
gained from her education in Australia to contract negotiation on a major
a leader in the Maldives and as an Australia Awards alumna, Shaana is proud to
note that other Australia Awards alumni with Engineering and Environmental
Management background are leading or contributing expert knowledge to this
pioneering project in the Maldives.
has recently been elected to the Executive Committee of the Maldives Australia
Awards Alumni Association. She is looking forward to connecting with the many
Association members who are positively contributing and making a lasting impact
as leaders, contributors and change-makers in the development of the Maldives.
is her belief that as the country moves through rapid social and infrastructure
development, it will be beneficial in working towards sustainable development
to follow current developments in Australia and transfer knowledge by
maintaining professional and institutional links.
Australia Awards Scholarships are development
awards administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They aim to
contribute to the long-term development needs of Australia's partner countries
in line with bilateral and regional agreements. The study and research
opportunities provided by Australia Awards Scholarships develop the skills and
knowledge of individuals to drive change and contribute to the development
outcomes of their own country.