Building Your Future
Women in construction – It’s a thing. It’s fair to say however that construction has long been thought of as a typical job for the boys. From Auf Weidersehen Pet to Bob The Builder, most representations of the industry have been very male-dominated. But, as Bob Dylan noted, “the times they are a changing”.
So what can a career in construction offer parents – and what can you offer it?
On The Up
The sector is growing. This is great news for parents looking for job security as their children grow up (and more become expensive).
Secure site accommodation and storage container firm Mobile Mini saw record results last year, along with a number of other key players. This is a direct result of renewed confidence in the building industry.
Down With The Kids
Kids love trucks, so imagine how impressed yours would be if you got to work with them all day long. Dawne McClelland is manager of Mobile Mini’s Teesside branch and has a six-year-old son. It’s a match made in heaven. She explains: “He loves anything vehicular so he likes the fact that Mummy manages two loader cranes.
“He’s been to the branch and been given a full tour around the trucks by our brilliant drivers. I definitely earn ‘cool mum’ points when I can talk technical details about our fantastic vehicles!”
Feel Inspired By Women In Construction
There’s no danger of you being the only woman on site. Latest figures show that 37 per cent of new entrants into the industry are female.
At Mobile Mini, a third (33%) of staff are female across all departments – and it’s easy to see why.
Georgina Arrand, a mother-of-two and branch manager at Mobile Mini’s Humberside site, says: “There are so many women in senior roles here and it’s great to have so many peers. We help and support one another through the challenges that we face.”
“Misconceptions about gender specific roles are decreasing, with more and more women in construction, from admin and sales, to drivers, yard workers and management.”
Share Your Skills
Both Dawne and Georgina recognise that there is a great deal of crossover in managing a team of staff and managing small people.
Georgina explains: “At work, we’ve had training in the Parent-Adult-Child model, which taught us more about emotional intelligence and how we bring out different facets of our personality in our interactions with different people.
“Obviously, that was something I learned at work, but I now use it at home too.
“It works both ways though – as parents we are great at multitasking and building relationships, which is crucial in this industry.”
Dawne agrees: “I feel I have more of a sense of perspective since becoming a parent – I’ve learnt not to sweat the small stuff, to just keep focussed on what is important and how it affects the bigger picture – and that’s something I put into practice at work too.”
We know flexibility and support during maternity leave is important to parents – and our mums in construction know it too.
Dawne explains: “I had regular Keep In Touch days after I had my son. This was great to help me gradually get used to being back full-time.
“And now I’m back, work is really good at letting me make the time up if we need to leave for sports days and special assemblies. So I don’t feel I miss out on the important events in my son’s life.”
If you’re thinking about being one of the growing number of women in construction and looking for a career with a difference, why not visit us?
For other ideas of industries to consider see our other blogs here