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    Celebrating Women in Construction – Shannon Cronin

    Shannon Cronin – Head of Recruitment and Logistics, Churchill Contractors UK Limited

    For our next addition to our Celebrating Women in Construction series, we spoke to Shannon Cronin. Firstly, Shannon spoke to us on how and why she entered the construction industry. She also spoke to us about advice she would give to female graduates and what changes are needed in this industry.

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

    Having worked in the motor trade for many years beforehand. I’ve found that a lot of my skills were transferrable to the role. I am in now as Head of Recruitment and Logistics. My father also owns a small construction business, so I was raised with a knowledge of the industry. Furthermore, this has helped me to bolster my confidence and capabilities in construction.

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

    This is possibly one of the hardest questions to answer. Every business within the industry makes different changes based upon the company or individual needs. That involves the need for more flexible hours. There is also a demand for engagement with students at the high school and 6th form level. Organisations need to highlight opportunities in the STEM fields.

    What advice would you give women entering the industry?

    Any advice that I could put forward to any woman entering the industry would be entirely dependent on the role. Evidently, some positions are very male dominated, however, that shouldn’t stop women entering those roles. If you are interested in that area, do your research and go for it. Women who have taken those first key steps in entering male-dominated industries have helped paved the way for others. I also believe a good sense of humour and enthusiasm is key to a good work ethic, regardless of industry.

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

    I would say don’t let anyone stop you. This is a male dominated environment… for now. In reality, the more women enter an industry, the more barriers are broken down. We as women need to encourage and support each other. It is important to break down preconceptions of what a person looks like in construction.

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

    Growing up, when you thought of a builder or construction worker etc. it was always associated with a man. Now, we see more females playing that role. This is evident on social media, as well as in person and on advertisements. They are normalising females working in the same environment as males. There is more emphasis on, any skill learnt by men can also be learnt by women. So long as this continues, I believe there will be more and more females joining the industry.