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    Celebrating Women in Construction – Kathryn Kathy Barrett

    Kathy Barrett

    Kathryn Kathy Bennett – Office Manager, MasterMac Surfacing Ltd

    To celebrate Women in a variety of STEM industries, we have checked in with a number of high end professionals on their thoughts on how their respective industries have changed over time.

    Kathryn Kathy Bennett is an Office Manager at MasterMac Surfacing Ltd.

    What made you interested in entering a career in the Construction industry?

    I entered the Construction Industry back in 2008 having graduated with a Marketing Degree in Dublin. It was a challenging time for graduates as recession had hit and there was limited options to develop a career path. At the time, I had close family connections with the owner of a Construction Company in Wembley and I made the decision to move to London as I had an opportunity to put my adaptable skills to work. I loved how busy it was, and it had my attention from day 1.

    What changes have you seen the industry do in order to become more inclusive of women entering the market?

    There has always been a female presence in administrative roles within the industry, but in recent years I have seen an increase within the Commercial department, and women working in site-based roles from Project Management, Engineering, Crane Driving and Plant Operators.

    What advice would you give women entering the industry?

    Stand your ground, as let’s face it, it is predominately male led. That said, I see companies who strive for equality and support women through education and training. It’s a tough game but there are opportunities available to be successful and the ability to love what you do.

    What advice would you give to young female graduates who are keen to enter the industry?

    The industry is vast. It may take time to explore different companies before you’re content knowing what path is best for you. Look at where you see yourself in a few years and see what your company has done to support your colleagues in similar roles. Be proactive and get involved.

    What further improvements or changes do you think could be made to encourage women to join the construction industry?

    There’s always room for improvement! Construction is one of the most challenging industries for women. It would be good to see Industry leaders work towards a reduction in the gender pay gap, and to see more women holding positions at Board Level. The hours can be demanding, so improvements on flexibility and finding a good work/life balance could potentially encourage more women to work in the industry.

    Celebrating Women in Construction – Shannon Cronin