With Valentine's Day coming up and only a few months to go until the Women in Construction Summit kicks off, we asked our women in construction community what makes them passionate about working in the industry. Here's what you had to say:
Jennifer Thomas, Senior VDC Manager at VIATechnik, LLC, Oregon, USA:
"I've discovered over the years that the construction industry is about people and good communication. This is coming from someone who started her career in construction learning about the latest technology in construction and then ultimately becoming a BIM/VDC consultant.
I am so passionate about utilising all of the amazing new tools that the industry has access to, but only if those tools are being used correctly by engaged teams that want to collaborate effectively. Seeing a building come together with the right team, the right process, and the right technology is very rewarding. Seeing the smiles on the team's faces once the project is complete is priceless."
Tessa Lau, Founder / CEO of Dusty Robotics, San Francisco, USA:
"Each one of us spends the vast majority of our lifetime in a structure that was built by the construction industry. What I love about working in this industry is that the technology we are developing will touch so many lives, from the construction workers who benefit to the people who will eventually inhabit the structures those workers create. Compared to most of the other application areas for robotics, construction wins in terms of potential impact on the world."
Kristy Christensen, Director of Shesfreetobe and Senior Mining Engineer at Taharoa Ironsands, New Zealand:
"I think as a Senior Engineer I have the best job in the world. Half of it is site-based, communicating with people and seeing the fruit of our labours be constructed before my eyes. I also get to design something in a better way after every project. And I love my other job as Director of Shesfreetobe as I get to help organisations invest in their female workforce so they can thrive."
Kirsti Wells, Business Development Manager at The Construction & Design Centre of Excellence, Telford, UK:
"Quickly, construction is becoming 'the place to be!' Innovative technologies, groundbreaking designs and modern methods are being explored, providing opportunities for the next generation to take the industry to unprecedented heights, providing a platform for longevity and sustainability, inevitably changing the world we live in!"
Katherine Hill, Assistant Quantity Surveyor at Kier Group, Yorkshire, UK:
"To put it very simply, no day is ever the same. There are opportunities for all regardless of background/gender/race. If you put the effort in, the reward is most definitely worth it."
Sotira Georgiou, Senior Structural Engineer at Ramboll, Southampton, UK:
"What I love about my job in construction is solving problems and seeing the projects I have worked on become a reality – it’s so rewarding seeing your designs on paper taking shape in real life!"
Tshegofatso Serite, Assistant Project Manager at AMA Projects Botswana:
"I love how unpredictable the nature of my job is, how it constantly keeps me on my toes. The impact of the buildings being developed is very close to my heart as they contribute to facilitating the implementation of activities and services which contribute to strengthening my country's (Botswana) economy."
It was fantastic to see enthusiastic responses coming in from around the world about why you adore the construction industry. However, there's also some love lost in the sector – poor gender parity and workplace misconceptions remain a major concern and there's still a long way to go before these will be alleviated.
Here's some insight into why workers sometimes struggle to commit to the industry:
Ekaterina Grib, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development & Finance at Kewazo, Germany:
"Construction is one of the most crucial industries, it affects so many lives directly or indirectly and yet, it is on of the most conservative fields, where the methodologies have stayed the same for the past 100 years. It is also a very unattractive field for many young employees: it is heavy, it is difficult and it is simply 'unsexy'.
Every year it gets more and more difficult to find new employees for the construction sites. That is exactly why there is a huge opportunity for the optimisation of work processes and tools. We are focusing on automation and robotics, because we believe this is the only way to solve the problems of understaffing and to decrease the high physical strain of workers.
Today 'construction robotics' is a very novel and unknown term in Europe, but I believe in 10+ years we will consider automation and robotics in construction site as a given. In my opinion this is the only way we can improve the quality of work and life of million construction workers around the globe."
Thank you for sharing!
It's always great to hear what inspires you and makes you so passionate about working in construction. Since there's still plenty to be done to close the gender gap in the sector, it's particularly important that women continually share their professional experiences and encourage other women to follow their career dreams.
The Women in Construction Summit will be taking place on the 9-10 June, 2020 at Olympia, London and we can't wait to welcome 1,400 current and future construction leaders there. The conference will be a lively space for you to hear from pioneering companies, share ideas, network with like-minded peers and boost your personal and professional development. Download a brochure if you want to find out more.
Make sure you don't miss out! There's only a few months to go until the event and there are limited Super Early Bird passes available... book your pass now and build a loving relationship with the construction industry!
If you're based in the US, look out for Women in Construction USA, taking place September 22-23, 2020 at the SCCC in Santa Clara.
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