Patricia Bellotti, Affil.AIRAH
Originally from Brisbane, Patricia Bellotti, Affil.AIRAH, grew up on the move. Part of an army family, she counts at least 32 different locations around Australia in her upbringing.
Bellotti says her youth provided her with an opportunity to develop resilience and adaptability – life skills that have served her well working in the construction industry, particularly as one of the few female mechanical services project managers in a typically male-dominated industry.
She works as a project manager at HVAC Australia, and is a strong proponent of encouraging women to take on leadership roles.
What brought you to the HVAC&R industry?
It must be in my blood. My father was an apprentice through Siganto & Stacey in the 70s and committed himself to the trade in the army for 20 years as a first-class sheety. (sheet metal worker).
Now, I find myself in the same industry without realising it.
My family comes first, and the construction industry, although at times very competitive, is stable and offers opportunities where I can create a meaningful outcome for my family.
How long have you been a member of AIRAH?
What's your favourite HVAC&R-related memory?
There are a few great memories. Recently, I have met and made friends with several Women of AIRAH and WIDAC (Women in Design and Construction). These friendships reconfirm that through building tangible and reliable relationships within the industry, we can make construction what we need it to be for ourselves.
What's something everyone should know about you, your work, or the HVAC&R industry?
Having been in the industry coming on 13 years, I have learned that it’s not about playing the game, like some may have taught you. It’s truly about being yourself and developing relationships on your terms.
How have you seen the industry change in your time?
I’ve seen a lot of knowledge and talent leave the industry with older, wiser hands retiring. In saying this, more training and apprenticeships need to happen to grab a hold of that knowledge attained through practical application, while it’s still available.
How do you see the HVAC&R industry developing over the next 100 years?
Companies are gradually stepping up to the plate and seeing the benefits of women in lead roles.
Over the years there have been a few who feel resistant to changes like this; however, I have also seen much support from men in favour of all types of diversity. We already know that with an increase in women in these roles, the opportunities for others will become broader and more easily accessible. The influence of women affecting the board rooms and construction sites offers improved outcomes for all.
In addition to that, I’d like to see more job-specific training for university students who want to enter into our industry, within the mechanical services discipline.