What made you interested in entering a career in the Construction industry?
I have always been interested in the idea of construction and helping to create something sustainable. Construction is an industry that makes positive impacts in the world around us, and to be a part of creating the infrastructure to keep the country moving forward, is very rewarding. Kelly Group is renowned for building telecommunication and utility networks in collaboration with several leading service providers, connecting people globally.
What changes have you seen the industry do in order to become more inclusive of women entering the market?
While construction remains a male-dominated industry, the workforce is finally becoming more gender diverse. Promoting flexibility is a big part especially for women, as children must be considered, so working hours may need to be altered. The industry are being much more aware of the social responsibility agenda to promote both equality and diversity. For example, Kelly’s had a football tournament to raise money for ‘Movember’ a few months ago, and we had an all-ladies team. It was so successful, there was a real sense of team spirit.
What advice would you give women entering the industry?
Be yourself. Be confident enough to use your skillsets and knowledge to make the right decisions. Listen and learn from other colleagues’ thoughts and ideas. You will earn your respect as a professional, regardless of your gender.
What advice would you give to young female graduates who are keen to enter the industry?
Put yourself first, do not let anyone hold you back, and know your worth! It is not as scary as it may seem, and you will be respected and encouraged by colleagues. Go for it, you have nothing to lose.
What further improvements or changes do you think could be made to encourage women to join the construction industry?
By teaching students from a young age, the different elements involved in the construction industry. Construction is no longer just about manual labour, which women could be frightened by, it also includes specialist areas like technology, engineering, and innovation. I think a huge part is visiting schools and sixth forms to showcase the variety of careers in construction, educating people from a young age would help. The industry not only has a part to play, but also the companies within it. Therefore, recruitment will have a huge part to play, improving the recruitment process and culture of a business vital in order to promote diversity.
Read Tracey Heneghan – Women in Construction Series