Construction is not just hard hats and mud

A female Technical Director from a global engineering consultancy, said how important it is to dispel the myth that the construction industry is just hard hats and mud at an event last week to encourage more women into the industry.

Hosted by the University of Portsmouth and WiBSE (Women in Building Services Engineering), Clare Wildfire from Mott MacDonald, spoke to an audience of current students, staff, alumni and industry professionals at the networking event, which was organised to inspire women to consider a career in the industry and address the shortage of skilled women in the sector.

Clare said:

“I would definitely encourage more women into engineering. I have a hugely varied role, which involves constant intellectual stimulation. I have never done the same thing twice as the problems you encounter are always different. You’re moving from a site meeting one day to a design meeting the next so working with diverse sets of people all the time.”

Clare is currently working on the first new residential development of 900 homes on the Olympic Park site as well as a thermal masterplanning project, which involves taking the heat out of buildings in the summer months and storing it in the ground, in order to put it back in the buildings during the winter months.

Lorraine Farrelly, Professor of Architecture and Design at the University, also spoke at the event. Professor Farrelly spoke about some of her own completed projects, which range from the interior fit-out of bars and restaurants and retail design through to individual house design, school design and public spaces. She also talked about the many opportunities an architectural education can bring.

The University’s Chief Operating Officer, Bernie Topham, said:

“Women have a tremendous amount to contribute to the construction industry but are woefully under-represented despite the sector being desperately short of skilled people, which is why an event like this is hugely worthwhile to encourage diversity in the industry.

“The University is proud to have teamed up with WiBSE, to help and encourage women in the building services industry, and we will continue to support this valuable cause in future.”