International Women's Day
07 Mar 2023
As it’s International Women’s Day and Women in Construction week, we thought we’d celebrate some of the amazing work done by women who are helping to transform journeys as part of the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements.
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Issues surrounding gender equality are, unfortunately, still an issue in UK construction. In the industry, women make up just 14% of the workforce. It’s extremely important to highlight the incredible work done by women in construction to help change these attitudes and make the industry a desirable and accessible career path for girls and women.
Careers in construction come in a variety of forms and on the A428 Black Cat improvements we have many great women including May, who looks after the scheme's business case. She ensures communities and road users benefit from the scheme and manages relationships with Department for Transport and central government to maintain strategic alignment.
May says: “I’ve learned that it's not just engineering and muddy boots in construction... There’s a wide range of skills and expertise needed in the industry through career paths in communications, project management, finance, environment, archaeology, HR and lots more.
My advice to other women wanting to get into construction would be to do it! While I think the industry has come a long way, there’s still lots to do within the inclusivity and diversity space, we’re still lacking in leaders who are women and/or people of colour but it is exciting to be part of an industry that’s on a journey and is changing to becoming more inclusive and diverse.”
Lorraine is a vital member of our team who is responsible for driving the A428 Black Cat project forward. When speaking about rewarding aspects of her job, she said, “Ultimately, what I love about construction is that you're making a difference to people's lives. When our scheme is finished, it’s going to make a huge difference to people's lives and make the road network safer.”
Jane manages the design of the road scheme and was keen to put right the misconceptions of the skills needed for a successful career in construction. “Professional careers in construction, and there are so many of them, are all about collaboration, communication, problem-solving, teamwork. Everybody says that’s what women are good at, and yet it’s never mentioned when people talk about careers in construction.”
Emily started her career in construction as an apprentice and has worked her way up. She is now responsible for social value and gave us some great tips on how to start researching opportunities in construction. “Look at work placements, ask for work placements, or just pick people's brains. Go on LinkedIn, or go into companies and ask for social value people, or recruiters, or community people, or equivalents. They'll be able to give you a really good rounded view of some of the construction roles available, what's accessible to you, and then what you could then aim for in the future as well.”