This month we ran a Women in Construction Careers Event here at Wellesley to inspire female students from local colleges to consider a career in construction, and to dispel the myth that it is a male-only industry.
The students from Farnborough Sixth Form College and Aldershot Construction College were first taken on an in-depth tour of the McGrigor phase of the development. Built by CALA Homes, this phase consists of 108 homes and includes the conversion of the Victorian era McGrigor Barracks into terraced houses.
The group then heard fascinating presentations from women in a wide range of careers on site, showcasing the many varied roles and career routes that are available to women wishing to work in the world of construction; Sustainability and Community Managers from Grainger plc, Ecologists from Holbury Consultancy, Engineers from Mayer Brown, Rangers from Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, Project Managers from R&M Regeneration Management, and Estate Managers from Strutt & Parker.
“We were delighted to be involved in such a fantastic event supporting women and educating them about their options for a growing and evolving industry” - Nicola French, Director at Holbury Consultancy
The informal nature of the event meant that students were able to ask questions and engage in a dialogue with the speakers, receiving personal advice and guidance. The key message from the event was that you don’t need a degree to progress within the industry and that there are numerous routes in, with options to change roles later in life.
“It’s been mind-blowing to find out about all the different jobs that I never knew existed, I really want to work on site now” said one student from Aldershot Construction College.
A fantastic additional outcome of the event has been that several work experience opportunities have since been arranged; one student is now doing work experience with a view to completing an apprenticeship with Strutt & Parker, and Barratt David Wilson Homes have offered work experience opportunities to another two students who attended.
“Grainger Plc is passionate about widening the diversity of it’s workforce, not just in gender and race, but also in the routes people have taken to reach us. We are so grateful to all the amazing women who helped make this event such a success” - Jennifer Upstill, Community Development Manager at Wellesley, Grainger Plc