People power: Jade aspires to collaborative leadership

November 15, 2021 | People

Jade Cohen speaks passionately about the future of design and construction in Australia. Committed to exploring her leadership potential, the Design Coordinator is grateful for the mentoring she has received from early childhood to now.

“I have been led by people who inspire me and have gone out of their way to provide guidance in my growth as an individual and professional,” says Jade.

“It’s only fair that I carry this leadership forward, passing on my learnings and experience to help guide entrants on their own journey.”

From a young age, her creative instincts were matched only by an enthusiasm for sharing ideas and connecting with other cultures. On completing school, Jade travelled to Israel and lived in a small agricultural community – known as a Kibbutz – where she became fascinated with sustainable living.

Several years later while studying a Bachelor of Design in interior architecture at UTS, Jade was able to visit Mexico and Berlin as part of the university’s Global Studio program. Her time in Berlin was dedicated to helping build a ‘floating university’ – repurposing disused airport structures and waste materials for open air learning.

“Coming from a generation that is deeply interested in the natural environment, I am drawn to implementing positive change through a common understanding of what’s happening in the world today.”

Climate change is also a strong motivation.

“As extreme weather events become commonplace, we all have a stake in environmentally sustainable design and finding ways of creating more resilient buildings. This highlights the need for cross-cultural communication, passing on knowledge and working towards a global language for design.”

Since joining Paynter Dixon in 2019, Jade has enjoyed working on a range of projects including the fit out of the company’s new Rhodes office.

“I was fortunate to be part of the inhouse team that oversaw the fit out. And it was close to our hearts because we were essentially creating a new home for our colleagues.”

On any given day in the office, Jade can be found working closely with Paynter Dixon’s design team including colleague and good friend, Antoinette Lee (pictured above in the Rhodes office). The experienced Designer Manager has played an active role in supporting Jade’s leadership aspirations, encouraging her to apply for the National Association of Women in Construction’s Future Leader Award.

“Antoinette looked at the requirements of the award and helped guide my critical thinking on leadership through one-on-one workshops. We bounce ideas off each other every day.

“I’m grateful for the career support which is available across Paynter Dixon, including the People and Culture team, my direct managers and colleagues.

“I believe leadership emerges from collaboration and that is part of our DNA here. I’ve been able to mentor work-experience students from three schools, with one student saying she will pursue a career in construction. To be able to support other women entering the industry is extremely rewarding.”

Away from work, Jade is captain of a women’s soccer team and has completed ocean swim events to raise funds for cancer research.

“I had a fear of the ocean, so I trained with my Auntie and we completed the event together. If I can’t conquer something on my own, then I’ll seek support to do it. But I won’t back down.”

Paynter Dixon encourages diversity in our workplace. We offer career opportunities in construction engineering, design, marketing, sales, finance, IT and administration. If you would like to work with us, send your resumé to