7th to 13th March 2022

Women in Construction Week

In celebration of Women in Construction Week, we want to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women, and emphasize the growing role of women in the industry.

As part of our celebration, all the women on the project team at Mindenhurst are sharing their experiences about working in the industry.

 

Carianne McIntosh

Role: Construction Manager

Number of years in the Construction Industry:  8

What does your job entail:

I look after the construction elements of the site and together with my colleagues Ed and Rob, we are responsible for all of the construction at Mindenhurst.

I am involved from planning stage to handover. I get involved with putting together methodology documents for the Council, ensuring that designs are constructible, on time, to budget and are suitable for the end user (the existing and new residents).

I also ensure the correct designs are built on site, and most importantly I ensure that my operatives work in a safe and healthy manner so that they go home to their families at the end of the day.

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What you like about your role:

My work changes on a daily basis and I really enjoy the variety that I get to experience. I also enjoy the variety of personalities and skills I get to work with on a daily basis – I learn something new every day and get to meet some of the most skilled tradespeople. I like that all types of people can work in the Construction Industry – from those who are very methodical and enjoy the office environment, to those people who work best when they learn through ‘doing’ and enjoy working on site.

I take great pride in knowing that I am helping to provide the infrastructure we need for our future. I help build hospitals that will care for the sick, training facilities that will train our future service people and developments that will become forever homes.

How you got to where you are now?

From a very young age I used to travel to London to work with my dad some weekends. During this time I saw the construction of The Gherkin in London. It quickly became my favourite building and still is to this day!

I went to a Girls Grammar School and knew that I wanted to work in the Construction Industry – I was the only female to go into Construction during the 20 year career of my Careers Officer.

When I found out that Skanska built the Gherkin, I knew I wanted to work for them. So I applied for the graduate scheme and was successful!

I have worked on the Royal Papworth Hospital and Worth Down Camp so far during my career with Skanska, and I look forward to working on many more projects that add value to our communities.

Advice for young people thinking about future careers in the industry?

Working in Construction doesn’t always mean working out on a wet and dirty site. We have so many roles that require different sets of skills – from commercial teams, to designers, engineers, construction managers and tradespeople.

Construction is changing from the image that it has held for decades – we actively encourage diversity, inclusion, health and wellbeing and we offer so many routes into the industry – from apprenticeships to graduate schemes. The construction industry has a place for anyone that wants to make a positive difference to society.

 

Carine Guenand

Role: Senior Environmental Advisor

Number of years in the Construction Industry:  12

What does your job entail:

Protecting wildlife, reducing our carbon footprint, manage waste and re-use it as much as possible, ensure we comply with the law, create sustainable buildings and infrastructure.

 

 

What you like about your role:

It’s varied and no day is the same. I get to contribute to a more sustainable and green future.

How you got to where you are now?

I’ve loved working in the construction industry from day one. I started my career in an administration role and then studied Architectural Technology to move into Design Management. Eventually, I found that an environmental career is what resonated the most with me. There isn’t always a straightforward path in construction and it’s good to be able to try different roles. I love the fact that there are many opportunities for development and studies.

Advice for young people thinking about future careers in the industry?

Have a look at all the jobs available and speak to professionals who are already working in the industry to understand what their job entails. There are so many different roles to choose from, you’ll definitely find something that works for you.

 

 

Efua Derby

Role: Project Surveyor

Number of years in the Construction Industry:  4

 

What does your job entail:

I manage the contractual and financial aspect of construction projects and enhance value for our client’s money. My daily activities include preparing tender and contract documents based on a client’s requirements, carrying out cost analysis and monitoring cost variations from the start construction project till the end.

 

 

What you like about your role:

I enjoy working with like-minded colleagues in completing a construction project. I enjoy working with the different designers and builders who work together to see that a project is completed to a Client’s specification.

How you got into to where you are now?

My dad was a subcontractor and usually required the services of a quantity surveyor whenever he had to submit a tender. As a child I was happy to add up various costs on each sheet for the QS, over time, I developed an interest in reading the tender documents. In the years after I started my family, I began to think a lot more about starting a career in construction. Having researched about Quantity surveying, I enrolled into university to study quantity surveying for my master’s degree. I got a trainee role with a consultancy while in university that facilitated learning on the job. I recently joined the commercial team at Skanska Deepcut, to assist with the procurement and management of construction packages.

Advice for young people thinking about future careers in the industry?

The construction industry has numerous jobs that are not the popular roles, there are many avenues to join the industry such as apprenticeships and graduate programs. I’d encourage the youth to search up these online. You’d be amazed at what comes up.

 

Hannah O’Kelly

Role: Environmental Advisor

Number of years in the Construction Industry:  2.5

 

What does your job entail:

Supporting the project team in ensuring environmental compliance is being met on site; undertaking environmental inspections; collecting and reporting environmental monitoring information; planning and monitoring ecological mitigation on site; supporting the delivery of BREEAM certification for new buildings and producing environmental management documents.

 

 

What you like about your role:

There is lot of variety in what I do on a daily basis which keeps things interesting! Deepcut is a big site with a lot of environmental considerations and constraints so its been a great first project to work on for me and I have learnt a lot in my time here. I am passionate about the environment and its great seeing important issues such as carbon reduction and biodiversity becoming much higher up on the agenda in the construction industry.

How you got into to where you are now?

I studied Physical Geography at University and whilst there I managed to get some environmental consultancy work experience in the summers . I really enjoyed this and enjoyed the mix of being in the office and getting out on site and this helped me decide I wanted to work in the construction industry. After graduating in 2019 I started a 3-month internship with Skanska at Deepcut, after which I was asked to stay another year as an environmental assistant, and then was given a permanent role as an Environmental Advisor last year.

Advice for young people thinking about future careers in the industry?

Do your research into what you might enjoy as there are so many different roles with construction, and a huge variety of different sectors that you can work in. If you are able to get work experience it’s a great way to see what you enjoy doing and make connections. It’s good to remember you are never stuck on one career path and people have unexpected ways of getting to where they are today!

 

Niki Dufour

Role: Community Relations Manager

Number of years in the Construction Industry:  12

What does your job entail:

I am responsible for building relationships with our neighbours, keeping them informed, and responding to their concerns. I try to maximise opportunities for the local community to benefit from our work by arranging community events, volunteering, school visits, and supporting local charities.

 

 

What you like about your role:

I really enjoy the variety of my role. Every day is different which means that I am always learning, meeting new people, and taking on new challenges.

How you got to where you are now?

I studied Fine Art at university and never imagined I would have a career in construction. I joined the industry as a PA working with the Arup infrastructure team on the London Olympic Games. I left London after starting a family but I wanted to stay in the same industry as I enjoyed working as part of a protect team. My first role with Skanska was as Office Manager on the MOD training facility at Worthy Down, before moving to my current role on the Mindenhurst development in Deepcut.

Advice for young people thinking about future careers in the industry?

Don’t set limitations on yourself, try to think past the stereotype of the construction industry. It is such an innovative, diverse, creative, and rewarding industry to work in.  There are a huge variety of careers available where you get the chance make a real difference to the built world and the communities in which you work.

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