Yvonne Sinanovic, Plant Manager at Rouse Hill Water Recycling Plant is breaking down barriers within the water utilities industry. Ms Sinanovic proudly manages a team that is 50 per cent female and says she has seen “too few females in the water industry.”
“One of the big myths I’d like to bust about the water industry is – it’s not a man’s world,” said Ms Sinanovic.
Ms Sinanovic’s journey with Sydney Water began 20 years ago. When Ms Sinanovic graduated from a Bachelor of Science, she gained experience in the labs of different wastewater treatment plants where she worked alongside operators. She really enjoyed the operational side of this work and was inspired to apply for a Production Officer role at Sydney Water.
After some time working as a Production Officer, Yvonne’s role progressed to her current role, a Plant Manager. She admits “my area of expertise has changed over time. It started with wastewater process control and has now grown to people management.
“I love being a plant manager as I deal with process issues and I manage people”, Ms Sinanovic says.
Each day in her role is different. It involves catching up with her team on any potential issues, walking around the plant to look for any potential safety issues, undertaking safety audits and attending meetings. Yvonne loves being an influencer of the business. She says the best part of her role is “ensuring that my team understands the direction that the business is going, and helping them align to it.”
Ms Sinanovic shows her enthusiasm for female representation in the water industry, through her involvement in the Western Sydney University’s Women in Science & Engineering program. Being a mentor in this program gives her the opportunity to influence the future generation of water professionals.
The advice Ms Sinanovic would give to someone aspiring to manage people one day, is to listen. “Listening is a skill that’s important in my role. It does not just mean to listen to what people are saying, but to try and understand their message.”