Women: You won't be bored in construction
The construction industry is stuffed full of amazing women and even more importantly, amazing opportunities for women. Caroline Lassen - Mace's new Head of Highways - explains why she thinks more women should consider the sector.
It’s a career choice that’s not necessarily obvious to girls leaving school and thinking about their options, but so many women I know in the industry love what they do. And so many women I know outside the industry really don’t. I am not sure we capitalise on this enough.
The CITB has recently launched a new campaign called ‘Can You Dig It?’ which uses a personality test to help advise female students on which of the 150 construction roles best suits them.
But does this go far enough, and has it been launched wide enough?
It aims to break down the “perception that construction is an industry only suitable for men”. But does it sell the idea of specific roles to women, rather than shouting about why the industry as a whole is a great place for women to work?
The common theme among my female peers who rave about their jobs is that their work is so varied. As the construction industry is based on project work, where projects last anything from six months to a number of years, there are always new opportunities arising – regardless of the role you hold.
One thing I have learned over the years is that there will always be a new and exciting project around the corner; boredom is not a thing.
My female peers in Mace are working on some incredible projects in key roles: project / design management of Vietnam’s tallest tower, Landmark 81 (150 m higher than the Shard); cost / project management of Ain Dubai – the largest observation wheel in the world; and project management of the tunnel being built under Stonehenge to improve traffic flow to the South-west.
No other career I know is so varied – you can work across different sectors, building anything from airports and hospitals to five-star hotels and government buildings, and there are so many different roles available.
Regardless of your strengths – numbers, words, pictures or people – there is a place on a team for you.
My own career has seen me working on schools, offices, hotels, embassies and retail projects and now I am making a move into roads. I have also been lucky enough to work across the world in countries such as the UAE, Egypt, France and Jordan.
I might not be the best paid amongst my female (and male) friends, but I definitely have the most interesting stories to share at the bar and I’d hazard a guess that I am by far the happiest in my working environment.
This is what the CITB should be shouting from the rooftops.
This article was originally published in Construction News.