Meet the team

Mekha Rajesh, Graduate Civil Engineer

Growing up, Mekha had a fascination with the STEM sectors, which ultimately paved her way into completing a Masters degree in engineering and then joining Sir Robert McAlpine as a Civil Engineer.

What Sir Robert McAlpine project are you a part of?

Kingsway Hospital - AAU & PICU Derbyshire South.

What was your journey and what inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

Getting into Civil Engineering was my attempt to follow my grandfather’s footsteps, as he was also a Civil Engineer back in the day in India. Coming from an ethnic South-Asian background, education has always been a crucial aspect of my life and family values. Growing up I always had a fascination with the STEM sectors, which ultimately paved my way into doing a degree in Engineering. Moving abroad to do a Master’s degree was also part of that journey of pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

How do you navigate and overcome any barriers or challenges you face as a woman in a predominantly male-dominated industry?

I believe in the motto that knowledge is power. Being a woman in a heavily male-dominated industry comes with its own challenges. But I also understand that nothing can surpass having the right knowledge and talent in any endeavours. So, my key objective as a new entrant in the working world is to absorb as much knowledge from everyone else’s experiences and expertise.

In what ways do you believe diversity and inclusion contribute to the success of construction projects?

Diversity and inclusion are an integral part of developing a multi-functional workforce that can compensate and complement each other. When you have the right mix of people around, it helps elevate each person in the team in a different way. Construction is an extremely solution-driven industry, to which it can add an element of multi-dimensional idea exchanges and approaches to the same challenge, thus improving and fast-tracking processes.

Could you highlight a project or accomplishment that you're particularly proud of in your career?

I have been part of my project from the mobilisation of the enabling works to the current stage we are at with it. The most rewarding feeling ever is walking across the road every morning and seeing the changes we have made throughout the last year in turning a large field of land into this fully functional structure while realising the value of the effort I have contributed to its creation.

What advice would you give to other women who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering?

It may not be a glamourous industry for the outside world, and that simplicity is exactly the most beautiful thing about it. It is also a place where you can be yourself and indulge in a unique experience in comparison to a regular corporate working culture. The hard work you put into the construction industry is almost always here to stay, producing landmarks and history, unlike any other sector out there.

How do you feel the construction industry can continue to grow female talent?

Representation is key to improving and inspiring people into the industry, especially for people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Stories of people who did their journey when it was a much harder time should be circulated within the industry and the outside world. Sometimes people need to see it to believe it and put themselves in their role model’s shoes to create their own journeys.

Every business should have a diversity hub with proper communication channels for people of different backgrounds to reach out, network, and share personal experiences. Inspiration is like planting a seed and hence should be planted and nurtured from a very young age. Activities to involve children/young minds with small construction-based experiments in schools etc are a simple investment that has the potential to change the industry for the years to come.


Meet the team

  1. Ella Mills

    Ella Mills - Apprentice

    Ella is undertaking a Planning Apprenticeship, whilst studying Construction Management at London Southbank Uni. We caught up with Ella to learn about her experiences so far.

    Read more about Ella Mills - Apprentice
  2. Placement Student Sam Davey

    Sam Davey - Student Quantity Surveyor

    Sam is one of the undergraduate students we are sponsoring through their studies. As he is currently on his Industrial Placement year with us, we took the opportunity to chat to him about his experiences and plans for the future.

    Read more about Sam Davey - Student Quantity Surveyor
  3. Jack Arnold

    Jack Arnold - Engineer

    Jack joined the business in 2014 after two placements with us during his degree in Construction Engineering Management at Loughborough University. We caught up with him to get his take on working at Sir Robert McAlpine.

    Read more about Jack Arnold - Engineer
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