23rd June

Celebrating the women who #ShapeTheWorld

As a company that is committed to working to address the gender imbalance in construction, we’re supporting today’s International Women in Engineering Day.


We’re enormously proud of the many female engineers in our business. They do an amazing job across a wide range of roles. You can meet a few of them here.

Mimee Oo, Cladding Manager

Why are you celebrating INWED?
Even though we're still outnumbered, women are feeling empowered and are challenging the male-dominated stereotypes in the industry! It is immensely satisfying for me personally to be able to stand up to old-fashioned mindsets and prove them wrong. The most effective and innovative firms are also now recognising the importance of diversity in the workplace.


How and why did you get into construction?
I started my career in a design consultancy and took a secondment opportunity with a contractor to broaden my engineering experience, which then inspired me even more. I get a great sense of achievement to live and breathe projects as they are being built.


What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
Don't hesitate to speak to people in the industry as there are a wide variety of roles and responsibilities that may interest you. If you can, try to get an industrial placement at an engineering company to see the industry from the inside.

Carys Gilbert, Engineer

Why are you celebrating INWED20?
Engineering has so many exciting career opportunities and many young girls still aren’t aware that these opportunities are also open to them, so it’s great to raise awareness and promote engineering with days like this.

How and why did you get into construction?
I studied maths and physics and really enjoyed them. I then did a test at school to see what career might best suit me and it suggested engineering. At school I didn’t know anything about engineering but when it was suggested I looked into it more and decided it was definitely the career for me.

What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
There are so many different branches of engineering that it’s definitely worth researching and exploring as a possible future career option as there’s likely to be a part of engineering that appeals to you.

Lauren Tawn, Package Engineer

Why are you celebrating INWED20?
At my school career days, working in construction was never presented as an option to me. INWED is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to girls who may be considering their career path and to promote the diversity of options available within the industry.

How and why did you get into construction?
Inputting my interests into a career website it generated a list of possible career options, one of which was a land surveyor. Following some research, I found the Surveying and Mapping Science course at Newcastle University, where I went on to study. The faculty had great industry connections assisting in organising summer placements and interviews.

What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
Gaining experience through placements is invaluable. So, my advice would be to undertake a placement and see which aspects of the project interest you most.

Alison Cox, Director of Engineering & Technical Services

Why are you celebrating INWED20?
Lots of young women who should have been sitting GCSEs and A levels this summer are considering their career options. I want them to be curious about engineering and to see it as a realistic choice for them.

How and why did you get into construction?
Largely by chance. It would have been great to meet and talk to a woman who was already working in the industry.

What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
Ask questions about what engineers actually do at work.  And how they feel at the end of the day. No other career gives the satisfaction of saying 'I built that'.

Claire Mullen, Chief Engineer

Why are you celebrating #INWED20?
"To be it, you need to see it.” I am a mother of two currently on maternity leave. Prior to going on maternity leave I was a Chief Engineer at Battersea Phase 3a and became a Chartered Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. I am also the chair of the Sir Robert McAlpine Gender Affinity network, where one of our objectives is to attract, retain and promote more women in engineering. I believe that by celebrating International Women in Engineering Day we shine a spotlight on and raise the profile of women in engineering.

How and why did you get into construction?
While in university I completed a number of work placements both on the design side and on the construction side of the business. I found that I was drawn to the dynamic nature of the construction site where no day is ever the same. After finishing university I emigrated to Australia where I worked on a large scale infrastructure project in the outback of Western Australia and have been in construction ever since! I still have the same enjoyment from the dynamic day-to-day I experienced during my first placement ten years ago as I do now, but with the satisfaction of seeing the end user enjoy the project for years to come.

What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
If you enjoy solving problems and want a varied career with endless opportunities then engineering is the career for you.

Paula McMahon, Structures Engineer

Why are you celebrating INWED20?
To promote the possibility of a career in STEM to a wider potential workforce.

How and why did you get into construction?
Most of my working life I was in design working alongside various construction teams. I started as a Construction Manager on the SNF Project when the design phase ended.  After working with SRM on this project I decided to join its A19 DBFO Team.

What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
For any career find a path you think you would enjoy, makes best use of your skills and has the potential to give you satisfaction then - go for it!

Kristen Taylor, Design Manager

Why are you celebrating INWED?
To raise awareness of the engineering profession as a whole and especially for women, who wouldn’t necessarily think of considering a career in engineering as it is predominantly a male career choice.


How and why did you get into construction?
On the advice of my Head of Year at school I started work experience with a geotechnical company during A levels. Once I finished my exams, I became a full-time employee. On my request they sent me to college on day release to study civil engineering and I met others who were working for consultants and contractors. I liked the sound of that so applied for a job as a site engineer with Sir Robert McAlpine.


What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
Believe in yourself. It’s a very rewarding job. There’s a huge sense of accomplishment when you finish a project.

Alex Ward, Community Manager

Why are you celebrating INWED?
There is a real need to raise the profile of women in engineering.  There is still a misconception that construction is just a man digging a hole! I work with so many amazing and talented women. INWED is an opportunity to shine a light on their talent and highlight the career opportunities available to women in the industry.
    
How and why did you get into construction?
I get bored easily!  I needed a job where every day would be different.  My role as Community Manager is just that!  One day I could be giving a careers talk to a school, the next helping a local resident with their enquiries about the build, or working with the site team on a volunteering project. No two days are the same!
    
What advice would you give to a woman considering engineering as a career?
If you enjoy problem solving, engineering is for you! The reward and satisfaction at the end of the project in saying “I built that” is immense.