Welcome to the third instalment of theSpotlight on Diversity Champions blog series with Rebecca Munro, Technician Permanent Way Engineer at Mott MacDonald. We are excited to discuss Becky’s story of entering the construction industry (under the Engineering sector) at a young age and what she thinks is important for a young woman working in a male dominated industry.
As an inspiring woman who has been smashing down all the barriers she’s faced, Rebecca is energizing role model. Last year, Rebecca won a multitude of awards, from “Rail Staff Apprentice of the Year”, to “Best Apprentice under 25” at the Women in Construction Awards, and“ Apprentice of the Year” at the National BTEC Award.
What inspired you to enter the construction industry?
I chose to complete my BTEC Level 3 apprenticeship in civil engineering because of the huge impact engineering has on society and the satisfaction of seeing tangible results from my hard work.
An engineering apprenticeship means that I work alongside a range of skilled and experienced people, which is an invaluable experience to develop work based knowledge whilst still studying academically 1 day a week at college.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to enter the industry?
My advice for anyone wanting to enter the industry would be to take any opportunities that you can and put your all into it. The industry is very rewarding and exciting, whilst allowing you to continuously progress and develop.
"Research the routes into the industry as there are many ways to enter, but also the variety of job roles and types which are available as the diversity within the industry is vast."
In your experience, what do you think of the opportunities that are presented to women?
There are many opportunities which are presented to both men and women equally in the industry and there is a lot of support within the sector. There are also a variety of construction related awards which showcase talent.
These can then be used to encourage younger generations into the industry and reflecting the variety of roles which are available. I believe highlighting the successes of individuals can prove to others that achieving these career milestones is possible!
As a fresh face within the construction industry, what do you think still needs to be done?
I believe that more needs to be done to educate both girls and boys at a much younger age within the education system to teach them about the vast range of opportunities and skill sets required within the construction industry and STEM careers.
"I believe there is still a strong stereotype of those who are employed within the industry when in fact this is such a small percentage of the job roles available."
From my own personal experience and discussions with others, it seems that there is an apparent difference in the options and suggestions which are given to both young men and women when choosing their career options at schools – when everyone should have the same options discussed.
What motivates you in the industry on a day to day basis?
Motivation and drive are the biggest factors which will lead to your success.
The satisfaction of seeing tangible results from my hard work plays a part in motivation, however I believe if you really enjoy your job and your career, then enthusiasm and commitment to your role comes naturally.
Civil engineering offers a diverse and rewarding career and you will always be taking on new and exciting challenges.