An internationally celebrated event, Women in Construction Week takes place in the first full week of March every year. As well as looking back at the history of women, their achievements and the challenges they’ve managed to overcome in what is a traditionally a male-dominated industry, the week highlights the initiatives and opportunities that exist for women in the sector today.
Originally established in 1953 in the United States by 15 women working in the construction industry as Women in Construction of Fort Worth, the event was designed to support the very few number of women working in construction at the time by creating awareness and a better, more inclusive and healthy working space. In the UK, the National Association of Women in Construction started celebrating and promoting the event in 1998, making 2023 its 25th anniversary over here.
Women in Construction is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that aims to change the face of the construction industry. They provide presentations to high school classes, site tours and physical and virtual events. As part of its commitment to a more balanced industry, Women in Construction runs a series of employment programmes across the UK that open the door for more women and encourage gender balance across different opportunities – including for architects, engineers and designers.
The theme for 2023’s Women in Construction week is ‘Many paths, one mission’, which celebrates how women from various different backgrounds and industries have managed to get into – and make a success – of their time in the construction industry. Aiming to build, lead and succeed, Women in Construction week offers all women ‘education support and networking to help advance their careers in construction, build their technical skills and become leaders’.
Look out for construction opportunities
Go Construct, a company operated by the Construction Industry Training Board, provides resources for anyone looking for a career in the construction and built environment sector. They state that women currently make up 14% of the UK’s construction industry professionals and are on a mission to ensure that number continues to rise over the years ahead.
Their advice for any woman looking to get into the industry is to earn while you learn by taking on an apprenticeship, hone your skills with a traineeship or work placement and achieve qualifications or complete a degree to help you on your journey. If you’re looking for a career change, they can assist you with this, too. They’re aware just how many skills women can bring into the industry and their website is full of resources and advice from those who are already working there.
There are also various groups you can join on LinkedIn and other social media channels that can help you network with women already in the industry.
One.site’s Women in Construction
Karen Dean, One.site’s Customer Success Executive, looks after our customers in so many ways. She’s always on hand to provide tech support and training and can often be found visiting the building sites to ensure the teams are using One.site to its full potential. She goes above and beyond to ensure that our customers are happy with the app and has built incredibly close relationships with so many customers:
“Working as a Customer Success Executive with One.site, it’s my job to help the end user get the most out of the product and give them some much-needed time back. The main end users are part of the Site Management team as they are the people who use the application on a day-to-day basis.
While I can give Webinars over Teams, which is a very effective way to provide training on the application to clients who maybe are based quite far away or who simply prefer to do it that way, I enjoy going to sites and providing face-to-face demos and training. The main reason for this is that I am a people person. I really like meeting my customers, listening to their needs and pain points and finding a solution for them.
After that, it’s all about showing the customers how to manage and navigate the application, showing them who they need to invite and how to encourage admin contractors to take responsibility for inviting their workforce to join One.site, generating their accounts and completing the remote induction before their first day on site.
Luckily for me and the end user, One.site is very user-friendly which makes educating new users very simple for me and them… You can see the smile on their face when they realise that One.site is going to give them some valuable time back! I have been lucky enough to be involved with trials of new features such as facial recognition, which has meant I have built some great relationships as I have spent considerable time on site. In fact, I even have my own desk in a couple of them.
Visiting customers helps build good solid relationships and trust between One.site and our end users. If there is a bug within the app (it’s sad but these things do happen) the customer trusts what I am telling them and has faith that the issue will be resolved.
Going to site is one of my favourite aspects of the role and I think it benefits the company as well as the customer.”
Although the stigma of women in construction has reduced dramatically and the pay gap is relatively small compared to other industries, there is still work to be done. We’re proud of the women in the UK Connect and One.site teams who make such a difference to the way we – and our customers on construction sites – work and look forward to everything they will help to achieve in the near future.
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