Women in Construction Europe 2018: Four sessions and what you'll learn from them

November 9, 2018 | D Cody

Women in Construction Europe 2018 - Sessions Key Learnings 

After our sell-out conference, Women in Construction Summit, in London earlier this year, we're dying to bring the event over to Europe.

On December 5-6, we'll be filling Amsterdam's RAI Centre with over 25 of the construction industry's more successful professionals, who will be inspiring our attendees with a range of talks and hands-on, practical workshops.

We spoke to four of the speakers from this upcoming event, and asked them what people will learn when they attend their session. Here's what they had to say:

Women in Construction Europe comes to the RAI Amsterdam 5-6 December. To request a brochure, click here.

Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes - Founder & CEO @ AKKA Architects

'Architecting Interaction: How to Innovate Through Interactions'

Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes

Day 1 - Main Plenary

While we often focus on innovation in the products and services we develop, Stephanie will showcase how to engage in what she calls 'sustainable innovation', which requires complementing product innovation with the innovation of process. If we ever hope to create a inclusive future in construction, it is inevitable that we change the way we work, how we collaborate and the processes we engage in.

Stephanie will share the three mental shifts that we all need to embrace right now, the key to innovation, and the step-by-step process she created years ago. To create an inclusive future, we need to innovate our processes, through interaction.


Key takeaways:

  • How to engage in 'sustainable innovation’ by a. gathering the intelligence of users, b. harnessing the honesty of behaviour, and c. the quality of time
  • How to innovate the collaboration chain of our industry 
  • The three mental shifts that we all need to embrace right now to create an inclusive future 


Laura Stringer - Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager @ Hilti Group

'Start With Inclusion'


Day 1 - Personal and Career Development

Inclusion is not bringing people into what already exists; it is making a new space, a better space for everyone.” 'Start with Inclusion' is an honest, personal account of how Laura built a career in construction, from a first role handling customer calls in Manchester to Global D&I Manager for Hilti Group, based in Liechtenstein.

With this personal story as a foundation, Laura will share:

  • How Hilti applies the inclusion lens to developing people to build a better future for all
  • Personal insights into how to strike the balance of fulfilment at work and in life
  • Practical nudges for employers to build an inclusive workplace for all


Cecilia Jahr - Head of Innovation @ Norconsult AS

'Innovative Projects - The Beauties and The Beasts!'


Day 2 - Main Plenary

My session – Innovative projects – the beauties and the beasts! – is a differently angled look on the challenges we meet when we work with innovation in the framework of construction projects.

I will introduce you to three “trolls” that I regularly have close encounters with in my everyday work as Head of Innovation in Norconsult – trolls that I have found to be more prominent in the construction sector than in other sectors I have worked in. Are you curious to know who they are? If so, come and learn about them in my session and join in the discussion about which swords we may use to fight them! Be aware, this is not a session for the shy or the faint hearted. Brave beauties only!

Key takeaways:

  • Innovation in projects is sometimes an uphill battle but knowing which trolls you fight is half the job!
  • This is an opportunity to look at innovation in a different way!


Isla Hill -  Senior Quantity Surveyor @ BAM Ritchies

'Can your Network Affect your Net Worth?'

Isla Hill

Day 1 - Personal & Career Development

The goal of my session is to share why I believe we are about to see a new wave of female leadership in the industry and to examine how we can shape the future by forming strong, positive and motivational networks that inspire other women to join and replicate them.

Built on my personal experience there is nothing more valuable than having a strong network.  I will be talking about how you identify, nurture and link up your various layers and types of network to make them work. Everyone you meet has something to teach you and every experience makes you stronger, better and more prepared to navigate your career. With this in mind, I will be sharing my experience, aspirations and examining why people are so key to personal and professional development.

I believe that the construction industry is an exciting place to work and I want young women who may not otherwise be planning a career in the field to not only consider it but to aspire to be a part of it. We have an opportunity to completely change the way a site looks in 10 years’ time by offering our time and support to girls who are still in education. Our network doesn’t stop with the people who have something to offer us in the short term, I will be discussing the social impact of encouraging young women as well as the long term business plan – they are the future drillers, surveyors and engineers we are preparing for the teams we lead in the future.

Key takeaways:

  • Identifying the learning in every encounter
  • The 10 year plan – recruiting the future talent
  • Giving back what we take – the power of passing on opportunities

The Women in Construction World Series returns 16th May 2019. To find out more, click here