BEST WOMAN CONSTRUCTION PLANNER
Rocio Allende Planning Manager, Kier Construction
room.’ I remained quiet waiting for the penny to drop. It finally did, his expression changed from annoyance to puzzlement to realisation and finally, to his credit, embarrassment. ‘Unless you are here for the project meeting, of course.’ I don’t blame him, the truth of the matter is that back then this might have been the first time he came across a woman attending one of these meetings. Now nobody would make that mistake. I have always wanted to work in construction. As a little girl I remember my friends wanting to be things like teachers or nurses; I wanted to be a bricklayer. For me building things always felt like the only worthwhile endeavour a human being could have. I was fortunate enough to have parents that encouraged me. They never really made me aware of the fact that most bricklayers are not women. I believe that had they had a different, perhaps more traditional, attitude towards what occupations are suitable for women, things would have turned out very differently. It is because of this reason that I believe we have to be good role models for girls and young women and help them feel like there is nothing unusual about a woman in construction. I have been in in the construction industry now for 20 years and it is amazing to see how things have changed. When I first started there were hardly any women in the room; particularly there were hardly any women in leadership positions. I remember early in my career I was early for a project meeting. I was already waiting in the room when one of the directors walked in. He looked at me and said, ‘you are in the wrong
The judging day for the competition was a fantastic experience. I was inspired to meet so many so many high caliber construction professionals from all over Europe. Seeing so many amazing women did highlight for me the progress we have made over these past 20 years. It motivates me to work even harder on the project I’m carrying out within Kier to promote diversity and inclusion. We stand to lose a lot of talent if we cannot galvanise a new generation of people from all sorts of backgrounds to join our industry. Just to be nominated for this award is a huge honour, as it means that my work has been recognised and appreciated within Kier. I’m very grateful to have been chosen to become a finalist. I have never been fond of being in the spotlight, but I realise that this competition will increase my visibility as a role model. This is very gratifying to me as it gives me the opportunity to do for other girls and young women what nobody was able to do for me: show that it is possible to be a respected professional in a field that has been traditionally male-dominated.
THE EUROPEAN WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING AWARDS >> MAY 2019
2019 WICE awards and summit summary.