The Women In Construction & Engineering Awards 2015

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MAY 2015

Girls can't

what? Women Leading in Construction stem Women Stories: Aspire and Inspire

Terri Seel the Most Distinguished Winner Of 2015

Who are the 2015

p.44 The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


to all the finalists and the winners from Zars Media, proud host of tonight's celebrations


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Welcome SectiAfi Ofori, Managing Director, Zars Media

Education levels are rising across the globe, and women are playing an increasingly important role in economic development. However, some industries, such as construction and engineering still have a way to go when it comes to attracting and tapping into talented women in their communities. The Women In Construction & Engineering Awards (Europe) was created to recognise the contributions of female professionals within these sectors and to encourage more women to consider careers in these industries by creating role models amongst the finalists and winners. This event seeks to celebrate the increasing number of roles women have taken up, and to drive further diversity in the construction and engineering industries. This evening we honour women who can be considered pioneers within these sectors and we recognise the emerging leaders of these industries. Thank you to all our judges who took time out of their busy schedules to take part in this event and who had the difficult task of selecting the winners. I would also like to thank the speakers who made the judging day experience a truly memorable one for the finalists. Thank you to our partners who have supported us over the past few months. Finally, thank you to everyone who has attended the event tonight. It’s obvious to say it, but this would not have been possible without you. We look forward to seeing you again in 2016. Have a great evening and enjoy the after party.

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


In This Magazine





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The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Girls can't what? Bid to boost women in engineering

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Women Leading in Construction

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Where Are All the Women? Does Engineering Need an Image Overhaul to Attract Top Talent?

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The Judging process

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The Judges

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The Speakers

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Should We Be Encouraging the Use of the F-word in Construction?

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stem Women Stories: Aspire and Inspire

Keynote speaker:

Ros Rivaz Ros was formerly Chief Technology Officer for Smith & Nephew, the global medical technology business, where she was responsible for manufacturing, supply chain and procurement, IT systems, corporate sustainability, regulatory affairs and quality assurance. She has held senior management positions in supply chain management, logistics, manufacturing, procurement and systems in global companies such as ExxonMobil, ICI, Tate & Lyle and Diageo. Ros is a member of the Council of the University of Southampton. She was appointed to the Rexam Board in June 2013.

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The Networking game

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How Apprenticeships can help bridge the skills gap

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A ‘significant shortfall of people’: signal engineering demand to outstrip supply in CP5

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Rail sector needs to be more ‘creative’ in developing talent

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Savings vs safety

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Railways – the regeneration vehicle

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Women in Engineering, and a Global Call for next macgyver


Who are the 2015 winners?


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


Girls can't what? Bid to boost women in engineering By Judith Burns Education reporter, BBC News


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

"Girls can't what?" is the question posed on the UK's first National Women in Engineering Day. You can be sure the answer from the organisers is not going to be "weld".

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards



amantha Thompson is 24. Two years ago she bought a house. She's about to take delivery of a brand new car. Not bad for a former part-time hairdresser who describes herself as "a nightmare child". "I was very clever but wouldn't apply myself. I was quite disruptive, quite mature for my age and hated being treated like a child. One teacher told me I would never amount to anything," says Samantha of her schooldays. Samantha is now a project engineer, working to extend the life of the Heysham nuclear power station in Lancashire. She has a University of Hull foundation degree in mechanical engineering and is training to be a project manager. Hairdressing career?

"Basically I tell people I install plumbing but on a massive scale." At 16, she left school with eight fairly good GCSEs and quickly ruled out hairdressing as a career, realising there was no money in it unless she opened her own salon. Her parents spotted an advert for threeyear advanced apprenticeship schemes at the international energy systems company, Doosan Babcock, a big employer in her home town of Ellesmere Port.


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

There were around 3,000 applicants for around 85 posts. Samantha made the final 250 invited to an assessment day. "I tried welding and construction pipework and then they gave me a crane and told me to drive it through a chicane - and that's when I decided that was what I wanted to do." At the interview she told them she wanted to be a steel erector. "They told me they had never had a girl do this before and that made me even more determined to do it." Currently 8% of Doosan Babcock's engineering apprentices are female but only 3% of construction engineers are women. There are more females in other branches of engineering, for example environmental engineering but women still make up only 10% of the workforce as a whole. Dawn Bonfield, executive vice-president of the Women's Engineering Society, organisers of National Women in Engineering Day, says it's a fantastic profession for a woman. 'Missing out' "It is really changing as an industry. There are really exciting opportunities to use skills creatively to solve the world's problems.

"It is really important that we start to find a way to help girls realise that there are some great career opportunities in the engineering sector that utilise the skills that they wouldn't necessarily attribute to being important in engineering. "For example, creativity and communication skills are key to the industry and girls don't always appreciate this. "We need people from different backgrounds, cultures and gender perspectives but at the moment we are not giving girls the choice and they are too often missing out." Doosan Babcock director Martyn Fletcher, who leads the company's apprenticeship scheme, says they are actively trying to attract talented girls and to improve diversity. "We are not going to employ substandard workers just to tick boxes, we want to drive up the quality of applications from minority groups. The art of welding "As a country we are short of skills. So to restrict ourselves to a percentage of the population is not advisable. "We need to make sure we access as many skilled and talented people as we can to deliver growth across the sector." Mr Fletcher says stories like Samantha's prove that female apprentices can come out and be successful. She is still the company's only female steel erector. There are more female apprentices in areas such welding and production control which is more officebased. "I really did just fall into it but it's the best decision I ever made," says Samantha. For the first time in five years she is back at Doosan Babcock's welding school at Tipton, West Midlands, where she did much of her training. A pep talk to a small group of current apprentices, who include several girls, focuses on their prospects.

Sense of achievement "You know you're not going to come out of university and have to flip burgers," says Samantha. She says she never felt conspicuous or uncomfortable because of her gender - but the other two girls in her year dropped out. Apprentice welder Kayleigh, 20, says there is very little prejudice but sometimes on site people "misinterpret" her role. "They just sometimes still automatically look at the bloke... but once they know your job role they completely change and ask lots of questions about the training." Lydia, 17, started her apprenticeship in project control but swapped to welding. "I didn't realise how precise you have to be - how skilled it is. Everyone gets tired but I really enjoy it. "When you cap it off and it looks real shiny, you get a real sense of achievement." Lydia says that at school she was an A and B student but was more interested in taking a practical route to a career. The male apprentices say they are surprised more girls don't opt for engineering apprenticeships. "In all honesty I was surprised to see girls here when I started - but now I am surprised there aren't more," says one. "They're better than me, half of them." Eighteen-year-old Hayden thinks the girls in his A-level physics class would have enjoyed this kind of job. "I was expecting there to be more girls here."

“Being "quite girly" is no reason to be put off engineering� Apprentices

Earning and learning Danielle, 19, from Canning Town, says people she doesn't know are often shocked when they find out what she does for a living. "They can't believe it whenever I go out people say, 'She's from London and guess what she's a pipefitter.' "They don't believe it, especially when I've got my hair down and make-up on." Danielle says she was "quite arty" when she was at school and almost all her school friends went to university. "I just thought this sounded fun and I liked the idea of earning and learning." Amy from Greenock near Glasgow describes herself as "quite girly" but that didn't put her off. "There are a lot more boys than girls but I don't see why girls wouldn't be interested or want to do it." Samantha tells the apprentices there is no reason to be scared about their prospects. "There is no recession in this sector. It's growing. "Keep your log-books. Take advice from the charge hands and you will be amazed."

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards



The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Women Leading in Construction By Stephanie Walters, Project Lead at Schindler Elevator Corporation (U.S.)


were working in factories, as first responders, and as builders. Women stepped up to the plate to take care of their family and their country’s needs, proving they had the skills, intellect, and drive to be leaders in their nation. After the men came home, 1 in 4 women continued to work outside the home.

Starting with the industrial revolution in the early to mid 1800’s, mechanical and manufacturing innovations created less need for the woman to make the necessities of the home resulting in women taking over the roles typically done by men. Homemaking was replaced with social duties such as bringing up the children morally, intellectually, and physically. Women began to have an input in society and achieved the right to vote in 1919. Progress of equality was slow but the biggest turning point was WW2 (1939-1945). During this time, the economy called for men to go to war and women to work to support the country in the states. Ninety percent of women ages 18-40

Twenty-five percent of women working outside the home was a big accomplishment and if that momentum was allowed to continue, there would be no issues today. This was not the case. Men came home and took over the positions women had sustained and women returned to their place at home. Equality slowed to a crawl again once the war was over; however, women now knew they could endure without men. A fire of desire had been lit in the women of America and women started taking the steps to move into higher leadership positions. (One being the first woman enrolled at Clemson University in 1955.) In the 20 years prior to 2014, women in management (in general) has risen 17% and 15 of Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. This is a small achieve when, logically speaking, women make up 50% of the workforce.

he old fashioned view of women consists of being the homemaker and an accompaniment to a man. In prior times, women stayed at home and were to be seen and not heard. Often women were used as bargaining tools in cultures and held no intellectual or independent value. This ideal has been slowly changing over the centuries but in the past century women have shown they are just as capable of leadership and management as a man.

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards



Physically, men and women are only slightly different, so what does it take to be a leader? major predictors of leadership traits.

Extraversion - This is the ability to socially interact with others. According to, women are considered to be slightly more social than men. Conscientiousness - This is the act of knowing the situation and acting ethically. As a consensus, “women tend to justify actions based on an ethics of compassion while men adhered to more proper procedures or law and rules”. Openness - This is the ability to create new ideas and practice innovative thinking. Women tend to multi-task slightly better than men but men seem to be slightly higher in completing one task flawlessly.

Neuroticism - The ability to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. This is the only one of these traits that is highly affected by situations and surrounding circumstances. Agreeableness - This is closely related to the ability to work with a team.

The ASC (Associates Schools of Construction) reports that the construction industry has one of the smallest wage-gender gaps. Women in the industry make, on average, 92% of their male colleagues. This would mean that this field would be a great opportunity for women to showcase their leadership skills while still having enough money for living and investments. However, according to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), women only make up 9.6% of the construction industry’s workforce. This number also does not take into consideration that not all of these positions are leadership positions. Six percent of this number is the secretaries, accountants, and marketing professionals leaving only about 3% being in industry positions such as Project Managers, Estimators, and Superintendents. Why is there such a lack of women leadership in this field? The common obstacles such as the ‘Good-Ole Boys Club’ and the ‘Glass Ceiling’ can be a bit stronger in this field than some. Technology has been the biggest aid to women in the construction industry because it has opened up resources, not available before, to access information and knowledge needed to bypass the ‘Good-Ole Boys Club’ and go further. Women employment is on the rise because of new innovation and the desire for creative minds and the understanding of technology. Women now (and have been for some time) lead in education. Women make up 60% of higher education as reported by the Center for American Progress. In President Obama’s New Conference on November 14, 2014 he says:

“We all have a stake in choosing policies that help women succeed. Women make up about half of America’s workforce.” “America’s highly educated workforce will be made up of more women than men.” 12

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Based on these on characteristics there are three main types of leadership styles one will find they identifying with most: Autocratic Leaders • Sole decision making • Little concern for other's opinions • Focused on finishing tasks Democratic Leaders • Value group consensus • Share responsibility • Collaborate opinions of processes Laissez-Faire Leaders • Hand-off decision approach • Turns over control • Employees are self-motivated Men tend to fall into the autocratic leadership more often than women and women tend to have a style that is closer to the democratic. To be a successful leader, one must exhibit characteristics of both of these styles of leadership. The laissez-faire leadership style is present in other countries and is successful but no very often successful seen in the United States.





As Obama points out, the gender inequality is a man’s problem as much as women’s but equality also benefits men as well. In Emma Watson’s speech for the HEforSHE campaign to the UN on September 21, 2014, she delivers this inspiring prompt to men: “Men – I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society despite my needing his presence as a child as much as my mother’s.” The number of stay-at-home Dads have doubled in the last decade and in 4 out of 10 American families the woman earns more than the man. Since this home/life balance is changing, the construction industry must start to change with it. Adding women to the industry can offer another opinion in decisions that reflect the other 50% of the workforce. Documented in the 1996 publication, Tomorrow’s Team: Women and Men in Construction, women are focused “on improving the built environment, helping other people and making the construction industry more environmentally friendly.” The construction industry is a thriving, in-demand industry and a great place for women to root a career. The presence of equality in construction is slower than other industries but, directed to both sides: To Companies: Choose Women; To Women: Choose Construction.





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Where Are All the Women? Does Engineering Need an Image Overhaul to Attract Top Talent?

By 2022, the UK will need at least 1.82 million engineers, scientists and technology professionals, according to Dame Prof. Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. As it stands, fewer than 130,000 of those will be women.

By Sean O'Meara, Sean is a blogger, animal lover and owner of Essential Content, a content marketing consultancy in Manchester.


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards



here's a definite engineering skills gap. But more worryingly, there's a gender gap. Only 7% of engineers in the UK are women and that figure is going to get lower, given the number of female engineering apprentices currently working. More pronounced than the underrepresentation in engineering is the apparent lack of desire among females to pursue engineering in the first place. As many as half of mixed state schools have zero girls taking physics at A-level. Single sex schools have a slightly higher hit rate. More than 70 students aged 16-19 took part in Engineer Your Future, an initiative launched by Crossrail to increase participation in engineering. Crossrail says that perceptions of engineering are a problem. It's a 'man's job,' according to the children it spoke to. A recent study into perceptions of manliness in the labour market conducted by foul weather clothing manufacturer Stormline bears this out. it asked over 1,000 adults to rank jobs and industries on a scale of manliness and engineer was rated as the manliest job. Soldier, butcher, chef, blacksmith, surgeon and chef also rated very highly. "We commissioned the research to see if perceptions of certain jobs might make them unattractive to otherwise ideal candidates. There's certainly a lack of females in engineering, particularly in the UK where the study was conducted, and we believe perceptions of what is men's and women's work plays a part in that. It would be good to see these stereotypes fade and for there to be a more balanced workforce in these traditionally male-dominated jobs" said Regan McMillan of Stormline.


Working conditions was a big influencer on perceptions of what constitutes men's work. One in five said harsh working conditions made a job manly. Only one job out of the top ten 'manliest' was office based.

Steve Grylls is director of Apex Office, a firm specialising in creative office interiors. He believes modern offices are too nice to be considered 'manly' environments. "Offices are designed to be comfortable, safe and attractive places to work in. You remove all unnecessary challenges to productivity when designing an office.


"Everything is organised and neat. Your climate can be altered at the push of a button. Aesthetics are respected. Compared to a freezing cold trawler deck or an underground construction site, an office is paradise. It's easy to see why offices aren't viewed as inherently manly places and boats, building sites and oil rigs are. It's ironic that it takes a team of engineers to design and create these office spaces in the first place."

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

of engineers in the UK are women

But 'manliness' aside, shouldn't engineering still be an attractive job to all? The average salary for a mechanical engineer starting out is just under ÂŁ30,000, according to The work is varied, rewarding and travel is a common perk. So why are perceptions of engineering jobs steering people away from careers in which they'd excel? By the time the potential next Elon Musk or Marissa Mayer realises that engineering isn't all frostbite and swearing, it's too late.

Without engineers we'd be naked in a forest. But go into a school and ask who wants to be an engineer, you'll get a few kids raising their hands. Ask who wants to build a spaceship and a lot of people raise their hand." The Big Bang Fair is having a positive impact in this regard. A mammoth celebration of engineering, science and maths, it enables young people to meet engineers involved in some of the most exciting projects currently on the go.

Caroline Livesey is a senior project engineer currently working as a geotechnical design consultant. She's also Ironman All World Athlete Champion 2014, so knows more than most about being a woman in a so-called man's world. She believes it's more than just perceptions that make engineering a hard profession for women. I think this stems from a societal bias that tends to pigeonhole women and men into specific roles. I think the knock-on impact of this is that we are inclined to assume that women cannot make good engineers as it is not a role that we naturally see them in. The downside of this is that women continue to have to break down those barriers in order to progress in this industry. They have to work far harder than their male counterparts to earn respect, to progress, and to be trusted technically. Engineering is a project based career -and the work can often include short and long term visits to sites. When women in engineering have children this can limit their ability to respond to those requests - which are considered a key part of many engineering roles. There are not enough role models for young girls in the industry. Perhaps an X-factor type show to find someone to build the next "world's tallest building" would make engineering seem more accessible. We have to somehow find a way to make engineering seem accessible to all people from all genders and all walks of life." Humanising the job and joining the dots between engineering achievements and the teams involved would be a step in the right direction.

There's a competition for young achievers too and it's encouraging to see that last year's Young Engineer of the Year and Young Scientists of the Year were all female; the former being Rebecca Simpson, who designed and built an arcade game that encourages youngsters to revise their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and the latter being twins, Ameeta and Aneeta Kumar, who designed an early diagnostic tool for cancer. "Without engineers," said Prof. Brian Cox in a recent interview with Adam Parsons, "we'd be naked in a forest. But go into a school and ask who wants to be an engineer, you'll get a few kids raising their hands. Ask who wants to build a spaceship and a lot of people raise their hand." When the realities of engineering are brought to life - whether it's talking about the founders of Google or the people who make sure Glastonbury runs without a hitch - the occupation suddenly becomes as attractive as any in show business or sport. If someone could do for engineering what Jamie Oliver did for cooking or what Brian Cox did for physics, participation rates would most likely go through the roof. If that someone was female, even better.

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards



The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

The inaugural Women In Construction & Engineering Awards (Europe) judging day took place at the new super luxury Ham Yard Hotel in London, Piccadilly. The event brought together approximately 100 executives from all over Europe including the Deputy Major of London, Lady Victoria Borwick; CEO of The Crown Estate, Alison Nimmo CBE and the Chairman of Arup Group Trusts & Non-Executive Director of Crossrail, Terry Hill.

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


The Judging process


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

The Judges A group of 21 senior executives from various industries were carefully selected as an evaluation panel of independent judges. Their objective was to review the nominations and interview each of the finalists. Why An Interview With The Judges? A face-to-face interview allows the judges to further assess each finalist’s skills, strategies and process etc. The interview also complements their review of the submitted nomination forms. The Judging Day The judges were organised into 7 groups; each group was made up of 3 judges and interviewed a number of finalists within their assigned categories. Nomination forms and any supporting documents were reviewed by the judges prior to a nominee being selected as a finalist. Each nomination was evaluated and scored out of a total of 5 points. The next stage of the process was a face to face interview with the judges.

The Finalists Time With The Judges This was an opportunity for the finalists to engage the judges by telling them the story of their success. Each judge awarded points across the same criteria. After the interview, all finalists answered one final question: “why they should win the award in their category?” All the 21 judges scored each finalist on the final question. Each finalist’s overall score was the sum of the scores from the interview with the 3 judges in their category plus the scores from all 21 judges on the final question. The finalist with the highest score in each category was selected as the winner in that category. The Most Distinguished Winner Of 2015 This award is for the finalist who impressed the judges the most and scored the highest among all the finalists.

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards



The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

FAQs Who are the judges? Where do they come from? Zars Media invites judges from countries all over Europe. Judges may be executives with social innovation expertise, business people, educators and university administrators and leading practitioners in the field. How do you choose the judges? We usually look for executives with backgrounds relevant to the event and with more than 15 years’ experience. We actively recruit and also take suggestions from partners, mentors and past judges. What do the judges evaluate? Judges will review all the entries within their assigned categories and give their scores as per the guidelines. This will include reviewing the nomination forms and any confidential supplemental documents and project information that is included in the application. Is the judging by invitation only, or can I apply to be a judge? We recruit judges after screening their profiles using LinkedIn and other news sources. We are happy to consider suggestions. If you'd like to be considered, or suggest future judges, please email

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


The Judges


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Alison Nimmo CBE

Anne Fuller

CEO, The Crown Estate

Director, Capita

Jonathan Hook

Katy Dowding

Global Leader Engineering & Construction, PwC

Managing Director, Skanska

Neil Edwards

Peter Jacobs

Chief Executive, The Builders' Conference Trade Association

President, The Chartered Institute of Building

Dr Anne Kemp

Dr Dorte Rich Jorgensen

Eva Diego

Francesca Berriman MBE

Director, Atkins Global

RAE Visiting Professor/ Director at Heriot-Watt & Sustainability Engineer Atkins Heriot Watt University,

Director, Househam Henderson Architects

CEO, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

Caroline Buckingham

Lynne Freeman

Mark Naysmith

Martha Thorne

Director, HLM & Llewelyn Davies

Partner, Reed Smith LLP

UK COO & Managing Director WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

Asso. Dean for External Relations IE Sch of Architecture & Exec Director, Pritzker Architecture Prize

Sarah Davis

Simon Kirby

Sue Sljivic

Sylvia Churba

Managing Director, Skills4Stem Ltd


Director, RSK Environment Limited

Director and CEM, Churba Engineering Ltd

Terry Hill

Lady (Victoria) Borwick

Virginie Colaiuta

Chairman, Arup Group Trusts Non-Executive Director, Crossrail Ltd

The Deputy Mayor, London, Councillor, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Partner, Pinsent Masons LLP


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards




Lindsay Grist

Katherine Bew

Ann Marie Aguilar

Director, Grist Communications, Freelance Producer and Reporter,BBC News

Managing Director, PCSG Limited

Associate Director Sustainability, Arup Associates

Nadia Savage

Joanna De Montgros

Kath Fontana

Dawn Elson

Project Director High Speed Rail, Laing O'Rourke

Service Line Leader and Head of Project Engineering, DNV GL Energy

Managing Director, BAM Construct UK

Business Transformation Leader, Gatwick Airport

Julia Humpidge

Jane Richards

Lorna Stimpson

Head of Engineering, Aker Solutions

Director, Property & Development, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff

LABC Deputy Managing Director

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Jane Richards and Lorna Stimpson

Katherine Bew, Nadia Savage and Dawn Elson

For the judging day we incorporated panel discussions into the day to make the whole experience more valuable for all the finalists in a very relaxed setting. The judging day forum took place concurrently with the judging process. When one set of finalists were having their interviews in the judging room, the rest of the finalists were taking part in the panel discussions. After their interviews they rejoined the panel discussions. As discussion-focused panels, the moderator started by putting questions directly to the panellists and the finalists. Ann Marie Aguilar and Joanna De Montgros

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


Should We Be Encouraging the Use of the F-word in Construction? By Sakthy Selvakumaran, Female engineer specialising in Civil and Structural Engineering

The f-word. It's been making media and social headlines again. With big campaigns like the Everyday Sexism Project aiming to highlight sexism in everyday life, this new wave of feminism is aiming to address a wide array of issues from reducing the pay gap to creating a broader and more diverse range of individuals at the top of trades and professions.


alk on this issue has hit the engineering industry hard - and boy does it need it. Engineering as a whole has a pathetic nine percent female representation (the lowest in all of Europe). There is also a severe shortage of engineering professionals; Engineering UK's 2015 report predicts that employers will need 1.82million people with engineering skills from 2012-2022 - that's double the number we currently having coming in and would provide a value of ÂŁ27billion per year from 2022. An appeal towards women would target 50 percent of the population which, on the whole, seems uninterested in an engineering career. Let's face it, the engineering industry could do with targeting every kind of person, male or female to provide some diversity from middle aged white male domination. Should this topic be discussed more in public, in engineering work places,


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and on construction sites? Yes. Using the word feminism? Probably not. Most people support the concept of gender equality but many find the word 'feminism' off-putting and negative. I know of many who will hear or see the word and their eyes will glaze over and many men assume that they are themselves under attack. Few people would publically disagree with the idea that a broader range of cultures and backgrounds would bring in a broader range of ideas and views; what is disappointing is that a large proportion of people are unwilling to acknowledge that we have a problem right now. The following was published in the letters and comments by readers section of a civil engineering magazine: "Your definition of a feminist as being "an advocate of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes" is just plain wrong. The sexes are not equal.

They have many similarities, many things in common, but also many differences. Even one difference is enough to make them different/unequal. They may be said to be complementary, but they are simply not equal. Since, therefore, the ground on which your definition is based is wrong, your whole argument is erroneous. Furthermore, of all the professions, civil engineering, with its close links to construction, and despite changes wrought by the introduction of mechanisation, computerisation and IT, is among the least suited to women. You do protest too much." The worry is that it is not just outdated dinosaurs within the industry that take this view. I have met a number of girls who have said that their parents (and more alarmingly their teachers!) have questioned whether engineering is a good career for them. The industry has a huge PR issue with plenty of ill-informed myths. Parents: the industry is not the

same as it was twenty years ago and it's very definitely a worthwhile career for all genders! Whether his views on a definition are true or not, the label or definition isn't the issue. It is the ideas, sentiments and beliefs behind it that count. Whether you like the word "feminism" or not, it's about equal rights for both sexes. Men should not be stereotyped, told to "man up" and behave in a way that society has historically imposed through a macho culture. Women should be treated fairly and with as much respect as their male colleagues. There are issues that affect both sexes. For example, re-evaluating paternity leave for new fathers to allow couples to decide how the split between mother and father should be divided. Civil engineering and construction doesn't need to be the preserve of men. I am a woman. A woman who has worked in design offices, in different countries,

The industry provides all kinds of roles from design office to outdoor activities, local country offices to jetting around the world. You choose your path and your role as best suits you.

with universities, and out on construction sites: I am at a complete loss as to why construction would not suit women. From operatives to apprentices to civil engineers to site managers to commercial and support staff: women should not feel disadvantaged in any way. The industry provides all kinds of roles from design office to outdoor activities, local country offices to jetting around the world. You choose your path and your role as best suits you. In the workplace and on construction sites, we should be getting people to talk about equality. In a majority male industry, it shouldn't be down to women to fix the issue alone. Both sexes should be discussing the issues of equality and equal access, calling out those with unacceptable views. Regardless of using the word 'feminism' or not, men and women should feel empowered to speak out on behalf of both sexes. The f-word isn't just about women, it's about everyone.

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


Marianne Abib- Pech, Founder, LeadTheFuture & Winner, Women's Business Initiative International Ambition Award 2014

stem Women Stories: Aspire and Inspire By DEBORAH J. LEVINE, editor of the American Diversity Report and award-winning author.

The push to attract women to STEM education and careers is gaining steam, but the impact is questionable. Young women have ample cause to be discouraged given the decrease of the number of women professionals in many STEM fields. Bucking the trend, efforts to encourage women to embrace STEM have increased dramatically. Those efforts span the country, including in Tennessee where the Women Ground Breakers recently held their annual Chattanooga GroundBreaking Storytelling featuring women in STEM. With the goal to Inspire & Aspire, the storytellers shared the challenges they overcame, the trends they see emerging, and their words of wisdom for young women. The nominees chosen to be storytellers were a diverse group of women. Here are four of these storytellers and their perspectives on women in STEM. They included an immigrant, a first- generation born American, an American transplant to the Southeast, and a Southern African American.

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The Vision of an International Woman in STEM Education. Dr. Neslihan Alp is Interim Dean at UTC College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. Born in Turkey, Dr. Alp learned French before learning English and never saw a computer before emigrating for an engineering degree. She became an online learning pioneer, a mother of two, and one of UTC's youngest faculty members. She progressed to Department Head, Assistant Dean, and is the only woman to become Interim Dean.

TRENDS An exciting developments in STEM is a major trend in the corporate world that emphasizes team work. Employers now need not only STEM skills, but also soft skills that can be applied to team building and leadership development. In addition, there is a need for crossover expertise and for the flexibility to do multi- tasking. Management positions will require these skills at all levels, whether on the manufacturing floor, with vendors, partners, clients, and community leaders.

EDUCATION & CAREERS STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields are our future and young people should be open to the opportunities that STEM education can bring them. Young women in particular should follow the emerging trends closely. They can combine a STEM education with the decision-making, communication, and sensitivity skills that are so often nurtured in women since childhood. Women can place data into a human context, anticipate the audience's response, and customize their approach for better results. Women can combine their people skills with technical skills and increase their future career opportunities.


What the Trends in STEM mean for Women and Girls Sheila Boyington is the President of Thinking Media/ Learning Blade and National Senior Adviser, STEMconnector/ Million Women Mentors. A first generation American whose mother was from India, Sheila has won numerous awards for her Entrepreneurship and Leadership including the Athena, Navigator of Entrepreneurship, Supernova, and Chattanooga Engineer Entrepreneur of the Year. Sheila holds a Masters Degree in Civil/ Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.


TRENDS We need to grow our STEM workforce. STEM jobs are expected to grow 17 percent by 2018, but the number of college graduates in STEM fields continues to decline and is down 24 percent from two decades ago. Women make up 50 percent of the college-educated workforce, but only 14 percent of engineers are women and just 27 percent are in computer science and math positions. A lack of ethnic diversity means that only 6 percent of STEM workers are Hispanic and African American.

EDUCATION & CAREERS Women are a large potential pool of STEM workers. Yet, college freshmen who express an interest in STEM are 44 percent male and only 15 percent female. For every 8 boys that plan to pursue STEM, only 1 girl does. Girls often pursue STEM career pathways when they know about them, but they often have no exposure to the possibilities. Girls choose STEM more often when it's taught in the context of helping society and making a difference, but that is often not the case. Creative ways to expose and mentor women and girls can and will lead to an increase in women in STEM.

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It's a Man's World: The Commercial Construction Industry Alyssa J. Montague is Document Control Manager at Hutton Construction, Inc. She spent "Take Your Daughter to Work Days" at a water treatment plant with her father bonding with him over construction, auto repair, golf, and hockey. Defying the usual roles of women in construction, she uses her IT expertise to build a new filing system, train co-workers, and trouble-shoot her creation.

TRENDS Smarter automation functionality and ability to customize will be game changers in the future. Technology changes so quickly, that it's the person who keeps up-to-date on the latest and greatest who will excel. Companies are always looking for ways to get more done faster and take advantage of advances in the automation of workflow. They are continually looking for the right person who is willing to go above and beyond to customize and streamline the way things get done.

EDUCATION & CAREERS The world needs more engineers, scientists, and technology and math specialists to lay the groundwork for change. The news is scary these days, with more violence, bigger natural disasters, global warming, corrupt politicians, war -- the list goes on. Unless we make a concerted effort to educate our youth in the basic STEM fundamentals, humanity is going to continue to blunder its way through life. We're slowly killing our world, and ultimately ourselves, unless we can change the way people think, and quickly. The person with the solution to one of these problems could be out there, but without guidance and education, nothing will change.


LIFE APPlications: Owning your Legacy Lakweshia Ewing is a co-owner at Biz Boom Apps, LLC. She was born into poverty, but dreamed of becoming a game-changing, breakthrough pioneer of new technology. She has degrees in Psychology, Educational Administration, and is a doctoral candidate in Organizational Leadership. Lakweshia has a passion for service, whether through her youth ministry, helping small business owners, or serving on the board of numerous civic groups.

TRENDS The internet was created so that we have access to any information, from anyone, about anything we are quite literally drowning in data. While we have created some very useful search engines like Google, even they are having a hard time separating meaningful information from the meaningless. As a result, over the next decade we will see significant changes in how we interact with the internet. We're already seeing those changes with websites like Wolfram Alpha which "computes" answers to queries rather than simply returning search hits, and Microsoft's Bing, which helps take some of the guesswork out of searches. As technology and devices like phones, TVs, computers, and cars become increasingly connected, we should prepare for rapid changes in how we interact with, and make sense, of the internet.

EDUCATION & CAREERS As the workforce evolves, STEM knowledge and skills are becoming more necessary in many professional arenas. We face both the challenges and successes of a knowledge-based global economy. Technological and scientific innovations are the future of our society's growth. Yesterday's STEM strategies will not sustain students in this new information age. Young ladies of today must develop their educational capacities to higher levels, beyond the innovations of the past.

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CONCLUSION What can we take away from these four women of different backgrounds, generations, and STEM fields? Here are responses from at the STEM Women Storytelling attendees and storytellers.

Education: "I was completely blown away by the inspirational stories, and I could really connect to some of the recurring themes, especially about "late-bloomers" who found a passion for STEM fields after pursuing other degrees. I have an undergraduate degree in Literature and now I'm contemplating returning to school for studies in sciences." Corporate Executive / Attendee


Science t e c h n o lo g


Engineering m at h

"There are many applications for STEM and young people should be introduced to the opportunities in various fields early in their education. I hope that young people have mentors in their teens, as I did, who can coach them if they have an interest in a STEM field. However, I do encourage students to pursue their passion, not just a potential job prospect." Storyteller Sonya Reid

Social Technology: "Study the field of social technology, not because it's the future, but because it's already here. Every day, new developments lessen the gap between ideas, industries, and people. Though still a new and fragile field, it's become an essential part of doing business. Young people should be building the future of social technology or, at the very least, learning how to market and leverage it in whatever field they choose to pursue." Storyteller Jemila Morson

Be inspired by the videos of all eight Women in STEM storytellers at Sign up for the free downloadable STEM Women Study Guide. Feel free to use these materials as teaching tools and to help women Aspire & Inspire.


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fin a l is t s


“What a great display of the skilled, passionate and determined women in construction. A great sign of the things we can accomplish in the future when we inspire and support each other” Alexandra Mitchell

Anca Daniela Raducan

"I was so in awe of all of the other women at the judging day and was completely inspired hearing about some of the incredible things that they have been doing. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet the future women leaders of the industry."

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” (Thomas A. Edison)

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Anna Życińska-Wójcik

“Meeting the challenge of project management in construction is like climbing a mountain peak. The successful journey requires 2 things: experience and teamwork”

Andrea Green

Barbara Dixon

"I have met so many likeminded professionals and learned so much from the experience, it has been a great opportunity for all of us."

“Grab every opportunity, don’t think of your career as a ladder but an obstacle course.... and have fun!“

Bonnie Brook

Charlotte Carroll

“Protection of the natural environment is key in the construction industry and it is vital to spread understanding and awareness of this throughout all disciplines. My aim is to ensure everyone I work with has an appreciation of the beauty and importance of the natural environment and works hard to not only cause no harm but also enhance what we already have.”

“We all seek the purpose of our existence. Engineering is a rewarding profession. It is also serious fun.”

Catherine Creane

“Lovely to be recognised, internally and externally for my work and commitment”


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Concepcion Vicente

"How you deal with the inevitable failures that happen along the way can make or break your path to success.... When you have exhausted all your possibilities, remember this... You haven't" Claire Gott

Cornelia Schärling

“Engineering is about more than just creating structures and infrastructure - it’s an opportunity to transform people’s lives, for the better”

“It was not about me expressing myself to win but just about enjoying what is to come”

Ecaterina Strat

Emily Rainsley

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

"It was empowering to meet other women in the industry, and finding out we all have the same pride in constructing a tangible legacy though our different roles on our projects" Elisabetta Carrea

"Support your talented women, they bring the diversity every company needs to be successful!"

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Emily Short

"I look forward to a time when women in engineering awards are not a separate category, we should be aiming to allow talent and ambition to flourish regardless of gender."

Genevieve Wells

"Transforming lives through design"

Gabrielle Rooms

“If every day I make someone think, someone progress, someone smile and someone question me then the day has been a success”

Jackie Glynn

“As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will” I have that strength of character to succeed”

Inger Yderfors

"Always strive to be the best you can be"


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Jennifer Kelly

"At first I was sceptical about a ‘Women only’ event. However, I gained a lot from the judging day, having the opportunity to learn from women both in a similar place in their careers to me and those a few years ahead."

Joan McCoy

Kate White

“Working in construction with talented people I respect, doing a job with such variety, challenges and rewards, feels like a win every day!”

“To hear what great work the panellists were doing to support the industry behind the scenes, was as fantastic as the opportunity to join in the day itself.” Karen Fairhurst

“Remember when things get tough…..…there are no problems, just opportunities to try doing things in a different way! Enjoy your work and be proud of what you achieve."

Kathryn Coates

Lee-Ann Woodworth-Hale

“Recognise that the everyday can be extraordinary. I am not a CEO or director, but hope to inspire women from every background and at all stages of their career to feel proud of who they are and what they have achieved. Celebrate your achievements every day! We are all every woman!”

“To be acknowledged by my organisation for my contribution to the industry is a great feat and to be recognised by the wider construction and engineering community is truly an honour” Kathryn McCartan

“It’s not about gender, it’s about being good at your job irrelevant of that....”

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Marta Pelegrín

“Architecture should be re-balanced to become more human and equal: referenced globally, but working and constructing locally”

Lydia Walpole

Mary Anne Roff

"I'm lucky to have found a career that I love and the WICE awards experience celebrates and recognises us for something that we truly enjoy. Hopefully this will encourage more people to enter our exciting and rewarding industry."

“It's a privilege to have the chance to help promote the construction/ engineering sector and the challenges, fun and variety of being a lawyer within it. What other job allows you, on consecutive days, to don hard hat and boots for a rail sector site visit, a lifejacket for an inspection of an offshore windfarm, then a sharp suit for an appearance before an arbitrator or judge?”

Monica Steele ‘I met some really wonderful people at the judging day and felt honoured to be among inspiring women within the industry. It has strengthened my determination to inspire the next generation of young people, and particularly women, into an industry where they are exposed to a diverse range of roles that enables them to enjoy a successful and rewarding career.’


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Nicola Astafanous

“Just being nominated has been amazing”

Monika Slowikowska

Pippa Higgins

Rachel Ellison

“These awards are great for meeting other amazing women, but also for raising our profiles as role models, so we get more girls into construction and engineering.”

"A great opportunity to meet, share experiences and debate relevant issues with other female construction professionals"

Rachel Brown

“An extra 1% effort in everything you do adds up to a big difference”

Raj Pabila

Rebecca Fleming

“Winning this award would be a fantastic way for me to say thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me throughout my career in Engineering, and I hope to have a similar positive impact on others.”

“Never lose sight of where and what you want to be, remain focussed, remain determined and you WILL get there” Rand Watkins

“Let your work and the relationships you build speak for themselves; everything else is just noise.”

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Sharon Duffy "Celebrating women in engineering should not be considered as positive discrimination, rather it reinforces the need to raise the profile of women in engineering so that future generations of women may choose it as a career." Sharon Chrippes

Sharon Moss

“Success is yours for the taking … work hard, be passionate, believe in yourself and you WILL achieve your goals”

“I had an amazing time at the Judging day. I was overwhelmed with the talent in the room and extremely proud to be part of so many successful Women in Construction & Engineering.”

Sharon Ross

Stephanie Keay

“Being a female in this industry is a unique experience”

“I have met so many inspirational women throughout this process, from fellow finalists to judges. It’s been a great experience to share how we break down barriers to succeed.” Sophie Billington “Taking part in the awards has been an educational and inspirational experience. It has helped me to appreciate the difficulties that myself and some of the other women have faced and their achievements despite of these”


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Tamara Holmgren

Trudi Schoolenberg

“Engineering is an amazing career because it is about building a better future for us all”

Terri Seel

“The Judging Day was a fantastic experience; meeting other like-minded, intelligent, strong women really reinforced the need for more of us at the top in the Construction Industry. Girl Power!”

Yewande Solanke

"Women have come a long way already in this industry but there's still some way to go yet and hopefully events like this will highlight relatable industry role models to girls and women from all works of life." Vasoula Nicolaidou

“What's my biggest achievement? I built a bridge. In more ways than one. Engineering is about bringing ideas into life. Ideas that improve the quality of our lives.”

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The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

THE winners Meet The 2015 Construction & Engineering Idols

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Best Young Woman In Construction 46

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LYDIA WALPOLE Section Engineer, Costain

It was such a surprise to hear I'd been selected! I love my job, so to be recognised for something you really enjoy and take pride in was a shock. 'Best Young Woman in Construction in Europe' this is quite an honour! There are excellent young men and women who are paving the way forward in their careers, so for me to be recognised in my career so far is a huge achievement and something I am incredibly proud of. I think I will mainly use my success at the awards this evening to show particularly young people entering the industry what they can achieve and what a great career working in construction and engineering

is. Within Costain, I'd like to encourage more of our talented young women to stand up and push for what they believe in. It has been an interesting experience taking part in the awards. It was so interesting to hear from other women both in a similar position to myself, but also from those who have reached senior influential positions. Hearing about the challenges that they have faced and the rewards for their hard work was an eyeopening experience which has made me even more determined to succeed. I would certainly advise not just my company, but all companies within the industry to nominate in 2016. The judging day was a great experience to hear from other women and to network with likeminded people. The awards aren't just about women working in the industry, but showing the passionate people you have within your company, let that show through and the achievement the nominees have made.

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Best Young Woman Engineer & Most Distinguished Winner Of 2015 48

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Terri Seel Section Engineer, Morgan Sindall

My first reaction after hearing I had been selected as a finalist was to crack a massive smile. I was having a challenging week and it was a fantastic piece of news that made me realise that hard work does pay off and it is recognised. I am feeling exceptionally proud tonight to have such an accolade given by such an impressive judging panel. My company has a monthly newsletter and I suspect I will get featured in it. I plan to use this as a broadcasting platform to inspire others. The idea of a Woman’s Internal Network could be promoted and given an impetus through this award.

The experience taking part in this event has been valuable, enjoyable and inspiring. Fantastic! I would definitely recommend that Morgan Sindall nominate more women next year. For me, meeting and networking with other women from other companies and Morgan Sindall has been a remarkable experience and rather motivational for any woman hoping to progress in this industry. For companies considering submitting nominations in 2016‌..Do it! The women you nominate will feel greatly encouraged by the nomination and then if they are selected as a finalist inspired by others to lead and excel.

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Best Woman Rail Engineer 50

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EMILY SHORT Senior Agent, BAM Nuttall

The first thing I did after hearing the news that I had been selected as a finalist was phoned my family & friends. I felt honoured to be selected as a finalist and welcomed the challenge.

and should help break down some of the issues of gender inequality that we continue to face. I want to inspire and influence more people in to (and retain) in this exciting industry.

It feels fantastic winning this award tonight, particularly as I know how strong the other candidates are - it's a real privilege even to be in the same category as them!

It has been a challenge taking part in the awards! However I've enjoyed the process and meeting other women in Construction & Engineering. It has forced me to evaluate my position in BAM and within engineering in general, which has been an enlightening experience. I would recommend to anyone to every so often stop and take a close look at their own professional position - the results may surprise you!

I hope winning this award will encourage the women within BAM & across the industry to strive for goals that perhaps they previously felt were out of their reach. This award brings the necessary recognition to women in our industry

I would recommend that BAM nominates more women next year, there are some extremely competent and talented women working within BAM all of whom deserve the recognition an award like this brings. Awards are important to businesses and the people within them - they focus on the successes and abilities of those people and publicly celebrates them. Regardless of who wins, the recognition of being nominated is often just as important to those people that help to make the business a success.

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Best Woman

Electrical & Mechanical

Engineer 52

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SHARON DUFFY Principal Building Services Engineer, London Underground

The first thing I did after hearing the news that I had been selected as a finalist was to inform my colleagues and Line Manager. Winning in my category is a great honour, especially due to the high calibre of fellow contestants. This award will help raise my profile and hopefully this will provide other female engineers within Transport for London with a female role model. They may wish to apply for the awards next year or to be mentored.

I have enjoyed being involved in the WICE awards process, the judging day debates and discussions were really interesting and I met a lot of other very competent professional engineers. I would recommend that my company nominate other women for next year’s awards, the opportunity to network with other female engineers and the judges was really worthwhile. For companies considering nominating next year I would recommend that you contact the female engineers within your company early to alert them to the WICE awards, so that they may have time to prepare any supporting documentation as part of the nomination process.

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Best Woman Architectural Technologist 54

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GENEVIEVE WELLS Director, Lewis Visuals

The first thing I did after hearing the news that I had been selected as a finalist was phone my dad!

people in local schools to encourage them to take a career in engineering and construction.

As a team we have worked so hard over the last two years and this award goes to recognise our efforts. It means the world that I have won tonight. I will be using it in our marketing campaigns.

I have loved every second of taking part in the awards, in particular meeting like-minded people. I will absolutely advise my company to take part again next year; I feel just been a finalist has given me more confidence in my field.

I would hope that this award will inspire other women in my team, I would like to use it to educate young

For companies considering submitting nominations in 2016 I say Go For It!

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Best Woman Architect 56

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JOAN McCOY Director, White Ink Architects

First thing I did after hearing the news that I had been selected as a finalist was tell my colleague Aine Glackin – who had nominated me for the award. Aine promptly announced it to the rest of the office! I am honoured winning in my category tonight against such excellent competition. This is really going to help me demonstrate to young women considering their career, that construction and architecture are great fields to work in and that women can compete at the highest level and succeed.

We have a small company where everyone’s contribution is valued and where we have recently encouraged our younger architects to become STEM and Construction ambassadors. Having won tonight will help me demonstrate to them, the benefits of making the most of the opportunities they have to make a contribution to the practice and the wider industry, whether that be taking on challenges in their work; encouraging new entrants to architecture or becoming active in professional bodies. This been a very interesting and encouraging experience. I have met many talented women with amazing career paths and jobs, who demonstrate the excellent pool of female talent we have within the construction industry and who are great ambassadors for women in construction. I would advise my company to nominate again for 2016, and will encourage other companies that I work with to make nominations. It has been inspiring to meet experienced women at the top of their fields as well as encountering such commitment and enthusiasm from the younger women. For companies considering submitting nominations in 2016 go for it! Do start thinking about the application now however, as the judges are very interested in both the work that you do and the contribution you make to the industry.

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Best Woman Quantity Surveyor 58

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REBECCA FLEMING Project Quantity Surveyor, Costain

First thing I did when I heard I had been selected as a finalist was let everyone on site at the time know how excited I was to have been shortlisted amongst a select group of women. I started preparing my presentation, researching the judges and reading as to their backgrounds and planning my trip to the judging day. I consider myself to be highly organised and therefore had to ensure I was onto the preparation straight away! I read the judging day programme and started to consider how best to set my presentation out. This award for me is a representation of my hard work and determination to

succeed in a difficult area of the industry. I am in agreement with the views of others that to succeed in this industry as a woman you have to work that bit harder than your male counterparts. To be given the recognition of that hard work in the form of an award is simply the icing on the cake. Since joining Costain the number of women working in my team has increased by 20% with another female QS joining us soon. I will continue to lead and mentor women within my team which I am currently doing. I will continue to be a reflection of professionalism and competence to others. An example of

this is one of the administrators within the company approached me to say that “seeing my achievements thus far, at my age has inspired her to want to get a degree and further her career”. I found this very humbling as I know how hard it can be to prove yourself. I have enjoyed every minute of this experience, I am now listed in the top 1% of the most viewed Costain profiles on LinkedIn, a reflection that this experience has given me great exposure both inside and outside of the company. Directors and senior executives of Costain have given me recognition of my efforts and that has boosted my confidence. I have especially enjoyed spending time with a group of intelligent and likeminded women, whom were all so very charismatic. It’s been a pleasure. Without a doubt I would recommend that Costain nominate other women for the 2016 event. It boosts the confidence of the women who have been nominated, it shows that the hard work and determination can get you somewhere. For companies considering submitting nominations in 2016 don’t be afraid to put forward high performing women within your business as it’s a great experience for them all, even if they do not win, it is a great chance to network and meet other women who are successful within the industry. The judging day forum with the key speakers is an informative and interesting day which in itself is worth being shortlisted for.

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Best Woman Project Manager 60

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KAREN FAIRHURST Project Manager, Morgan Sindall

When I first found out I had been nominated by my company my first reaction was why for the Best Female Project Manager and not just the Best Project Manager?!! However, when you think about the imbalance in our industry anything that can promote the sector to women is fantastic and I felt very proud that my hard work had been recognised by my employer. I also had a lot of support from the team around me which was lovely! I am very proud to be recognised by the professionals in our industry as worthy of winning this award. With so many amazing women here tonight I am overwhelmed that I have won and after

over 10 years in the industry, confirmation that I finally do have a “proper job”! Winning tonight hopefully means I will inspire other women and girls, not only within my company, but all those I engage with that you can succeed in whatever you put your mind to. That there is no such thing as a “man’s job”, only an exciting rewarding career. Taking part in this has been both exciting and challenging. I have never done anything like this before so it was a new experience for me to take part in the judging process. It was great to meet everyone throughout the day and see how all our roles vary throughout the industry. It was also really encouraging to see so many people excelling in their chosen field. I would definitely advise my company to nominate other women in 2016. It’s a great reward for the hard work your staff are putting in and a great opportunity for your company to show its dedication to developing women in the industry. It’s also a great chance for the individuals to develop their skills and network with likeminded individuals. I think companies should publicize the awards as a real positive and shout about all the great women they can put forward!

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Best Woman Contractor 62

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SHARON CHRIPPES Commercial Director, Construction & Design, Morgan Sindall

Upon hearing the news of being shortlisted as a finalist in the WICE Awards I thanked my boss for nominating me and then I indulged in a glass of champagne when I got home to celebrate! I’m thrilled to be a part of this prestigious awards ceremony. I am honoured that I have won in the category of Best Woman Contractor. It has taken a lot of hard work, passion and dedication to get to where I am today and this award will provide the ultimate recognition of this. I hope to use this award to inspire others to work hard to achieve their goals.

I am passionate about encouraging women to embark on careers in the construction industry and have provided a number of female staff at Morgan Sindall with coaching and mentoring to help them achieve their career and educational ambitions. Having won tonight will support me in being a role model to our female staff and show to them just what they can achieve; particularly that it is possible to be successful at a senior executive level without compromising on family life. Taking part in the awards has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience being part of such an inspirational event. It has been very enlightening to meet so many other like-minded professional women, from different disciplines and countries who are all achieving great successes in their careers. I will most definitely encourage Morgan Sindall to nominate next year. It has been a great experience for all of us involved. It’s not all about winning; it is about raising the profile of our female staff and seeing them attain recognition for their achievements. I would advise any company to support this event as it really is an opportunity to show the rest of the industry what fabulous women you have working for you. In turn this will inspire the next generation of women to embark on careers in the industry and will show them that can achieve great things by doing so.

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Outstanding Woman

In Oil & Gas Engineering 64

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TAMARA HOLMGREN Project Manager, Amec Foster Wheeler Energy

I was thrilled and excited to be told of my selection. The first thing I did was to contact those colleagues who have supported my nomination and pass on to them the good news. Winning as an Outstanding Woman In Oil & Gas Engineering was totally unexpected. This is an amazing achievement and I am completely overwhelmed. I believe that I am extremely lucky to be doing a job that I am passionate about, in an industry that makes a real difference to people’s lives and I look upon winning this award as the ultimate accolade.

I am totally committed to the encouragement of young women into a career in engineering. Receiving this award is a powerful addition to the armoury of examples of what rewards a career in engineering can offer. Taking part in the awards has been a different experience. I have to admit that this has been a greater challenge than I might have initially expected but as with all challenges that I have faced in my engineering career, once committed, I had to put 100% effort into making a success of it. I have learned much from the experience especially on how to concisely summarise what I do. I absolutely support the principle of further nominations in 2016. Awards of this type create role models, which I believe encourage young women to join the Engineering and Construction Industry and consequently should be fully supported. For companies considering submitting nominations in 2016, please go ahead and nominate your female employees! Being nominated for this award was extremely motivational and made me feel valued as an employee. Taking part in the award process gave me the opportunity to meet many inspirational female engineers. Consequently, I thoroughly recommend other companies nominate their female employees for this excellent award.

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Outstanding Woman In Construction Law 66

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MARY ANNE ROFF Partner, Eversheds

The first thing I did after hearing that I had been selected as a finalist was to grin broadly. The next thing I did was to call one of my ex-team members who now works for Boeing in the USA - he had very kindly given me a reference and I wanted to give him prior notice of the awards dinner as I thought he might be back in the UK. Unfortunately he wasn't; but I was able to invite several other people who supported my nomination and I am really looking forward to being able to thank them and have a great evening with them at the awards dinner.

I feel incredibly proud winning as an “Outstanding Woman In Construction Law�. I see it as a testament to the fantastic colleagues and clients with whom I've worked; and an opportunity to showcase the construction & engineering sector and also the rewards, challenges and fun of being a lawyer within it. I intend to use the profile generated by the winning tonight to 'shout about' the talented up-and-coming women (and men) within the construction and engineering team at Eversheds. Some of them, Emma Perrin, Kate Hencken,

Lucy Frith, Gill Davy; are here with me this evening. There is huge talent within Eversheds and it is great to have an opportunity to talk about it. The delivery of great service is all about teamwork. So it is difficult to be put into a situation where you feel that you have to sell yourself rather than the team. So, being honest, I felt a bit uncomfortable about that aspect of the process; but I was delighted and touched by the support and testimonials provided by clients and colleagues; and the judging day itself was inspiring in that I met so many impressive and interesting people. I would definitely recommend my firm and indeed any business in the construction and engineering sector to nominate other women in 2016. The proportion of women in the construction and engineering sector is still very low. This means that women are missing out on building a career in a fascinating and diverse sector; and the sector is missing out on a huge reserve of talent and enthusiasm. Anything that can be done to help redress that balance has got to be good. Advice for companies considering submitting nominations in 2016? Just three words: Go for it!

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Best Male Mentor 68

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FREDERICK GARNER Director for Rail Projects, Taylor Woodrow

Fred Garner is a Fellow of both ICE and RICS, and is Director for Rail Projects at Taylor Woodrow, a division of VINCI Construction UK. He is currently responsible for a number of high profile infrastructure projects including the depot at Old Oak Common for the new Crossrail fleet, the upgrade of 13 stations between Paddington and Maidenhead for Crossrail, and four-tracking the railway between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway ahead of electrification. Earlier career highlights include leading the teams that delivered the award-winning

new concourse at King’s Cross Station, and the successful DLR 3-Car capacity enhancement programme. Fred is a past winner in VINCI’s Innovation Awards for the creation of an Equality and Diversity Programme for the delivery of the DLR 3-Car programme. He is passionate about delivering projects through safe, collaborative, and sustainable working methods and believes that an engaging and considerate approach are essential for success in the challenging world of major projects.

“You have to get people on side, interested and proud of what they are doing, and make them feel part of something big and extraordinary. There is nothing better than putting together a talented and diverse team, giving them a vision and seeing them succeed.”

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Life Time Achievement In Engineering 70

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

CHRISTINA JACKSON Technical Director – Geotechnical, Amey

Demonstrating a high level of career achievement in civil engineering consultancy over 37 years, including academic and technical success, Christina has had a leading role in raising the profile of civil engineers in the West Midlands, as a role model and as a mentor. Throughout her career as a geotechnical specialist she has shown great commitment to the industry, leading innovation, continuous improvement and sustainability in significant projects. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and her professional contributions include being the first women elected to chair of the ICE West Midlands, sitting on expert advisory panels, technical publications, as a judge for technical industry awards and leading a champion employer contribution to the EngTechNow initiative.

The numbers of nominations and awards to her name clearly demonstrates how the industry recognises her drive and dedication to engineering, not just through technical and professional excellence but also through her deep commitment to mentoring the next generation of engineers. Christina said “I am a civil engineer and really proud to be so. Civil engineering deals with the infrastructure that supports our daily life and we really need a big and diverse talent pool to develop the engineers and technicians who can respond to the rapidly changing demands of our society. We need to deliver much more sustainable infrastructure solutions. We need different. We don’t need people content to fit the mould. We need people to break the mould. We need the balance, resilience and strength that diversity brings.”

"We need people to break the mould. We need the balance, resilience and strength that diversity brings"

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By Rina Goldenberg Lynch, Founder and Managing Director at Voice At The Table


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I often wonder why so many women think of themselves as poor networkers. After all, women are great at building relationships: we are curious, empathetic, supportive, nurturing. We have deep, meaningful conversations and create lasting bonds. In fact, a survey of 12,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs concluded that women are excellent networkers*! So why do we dislike it so much? To be fair, we do have vast networks – networks of people we like, that is. Networking is seen as something different. Networking is about building relationships with people with whom we might not do so naturally, and having to do so for a purpose. So ‘networking’ – as opposed to building a relationship – might have a slightly negative connotation. It sounds so calculating and opportunistic, so artificial and superficial, not at all the way we women tend to expand our circles of friends. And yet, we all know how important it is to ‘network’. We understand that being able to network effectively is an integral part of career progression. It is, after all, a well-recognised convention that real opportunities aren’t created at the desk or team meeting; they are created at the pub, on the golf course, at the boss’s dinner party. So how do we do it? I suggest that we change our assessment of networking and use our natural strengths. By this I mean that, instead of focussing on the intent or purpose of networking, we look at each networking scenario as an opportunity to discover and learn something unexpected. And to help me do that, I focus on three things:

1 2 3

Be curious! Like many of us, I’m a naturally inquisitive person. I like talking to people I don’t know because I’m intrigued by what stories they hold. Each person has travelled their own individual journey; I’m interested in finding out what that journey was, how it shaped them into the person they are now, and whether there are any similarities between us despite the differences in background and experiences. So in a networking situation, I do the same as at any social gathering: whenever I meet a new person I try to learn as much as possible about them. I ease myself into the conversation by asking the usual “getting to know you” questions, such as do they live locally, what their connection to the host/event is, have they been to this particular event/network before. This usually provides enough insight to continue the conversation and before too long, we find something we are both interested in and the conversation starts flowing more naturally.

Be helpful! When talking to someone new, I also try to think about ways that I might be able to help them, instead of thinking of how they might be able to help me. For example, when I learn that someone is looking for a new job, I might offer to introduce them to someone who might provide more guidance or be able to introduce them to someone else more resourceful. Or if they are new to the area, I try to tell them something about the area that they might find useful. Or if they are in a particular business and I know anyone who is looking for someone in that business, I may offer to connect them. I try to do something for them not because I may want something in return from them but because I’m a firm believer in “what goes around comes around”. It’s not about keeping score; it’s about being kind and willing to do for others what you’re hoping others might do for you.

Always go second! Consistent with the approach to networking that I outline above, I also try not to be the first one to talk. I simply find it easier to listen to the other person’s story to find out what common interests we might have or anything else we might have in common. To do that, it has become somewhat of a tradition for me to ask the initial questions which makes it easier to build rapport.

This approach to networking helps me ease myself into any social situation. And you might have your own. The main thing is, next time you think about networking, don’t think of it as a ‘necessary evil’, think of it as an opportunity to hear an interesting new story, to try to help someone else, as an opportunity to hone your questioning and listening skills. This mindset should turn any networking scenario into an opportunity to use our natural relationship building skills.

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How Apprenticeships can help bridge the skills gap By Sue Husband, Executive Director of Apprenticeships and Delivery at the Skills Funding Agency. Source: Rail Technology Magazine June/July 2014

Sue Husband explains how Apprenticeships can help railway businesses grow.


he rail sector has a strong history of Apprenticeships and now, against the back-drop of an ageing workforce and an expanding network, there is an increasing demand for the technical skills involved. As a result the importance of Apprenticeships has never been greater. The balance of on- and off-the-job training is perfect for the sector and allows apprentices to build their theoretical knowledge and practical skills, whilst gaining real life experience working in the industry. Research among employers demonstrates Apprenticeships can help businesses grow by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. Each Apprenticeship lasts for a minimum of 12 months, and 96% of apprentice employers report benefits to their business, ranging from improved competitiveness to better staff retention and recruitment cost savings. Greater productivity is reported by around 72% of apprentice employers, with the average Apprenticeship completer increasing business productivity by ÂŁ214 per week, a figure incorporating higher profits, lower prices and better products. There are a wide range of Apprenticeships to choose from, which are suitable for employers of all sizes. Currently, more than 100,000 employers in England offer Apprenticeships in 200,000 locations,


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covering over 170 industries and 1,500 different job roles. Whether they are looking to recruit a Skilled Track Operative apprentice, Junior Track Technical Engineer or someone to work behind the scenes in finance or marketing, there is an Apprenticeship available to suit every employer’s needs. Furthermore, it would seem that Apprenticeships are now filtering into supply chain selection criteria. Nearly one in five (16%) of SMEs and over a third (37%) of larger organisations say they have been questioned by clients or prospects about their apprentice recruitment policies. Through the National Apprenticeship Service, employers receive help with recruitment and training costs, and tailored support at every stage of the Apprenticeship recruitment process. There is also a £1,500 grant available to assist smaller firms in taking on a young apprentice. Last year 1,300 individuals started an Apprenticeship in Rail Transport Engineering, which is just one of the Apprenticeship strands available to the sector. However, with an average of 15 applicants for every available Apprenticeship in the Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies sector, demand continues to outstrip supply. I would encourage all employers to consider how they can utilise Apprenticeships to bridge the skills gap and grow their own talent.

Case study: Regina Tumblepot’s Apprenticeship means she can earn a wage while laying the foundations for a promising engineering career. Tumblepot, from Folkestone, Kent, had achieved GCSEs and a BTEC national diploma in manufacturing and mechanical engineering before she began looking for an Apprenticeship to further her desired career. “I’ve wanted to do an engineering job ever since I started studying it at college,” she explained. “But I knew I didn’t want to sit behind a desk for another three years; I learn much faster through doing work rather than by watching presentations.” Tumblepot searched and applied via the Apprenticeship vacancies website run by the National Apprenticeship Service and after attending an assessment day and an interview, she was offered a position with Morgan Sindall, a UK construction, infrastructure and design business.

Invaluable experience She began an Advanced Apprenticeship in Construction Civil Engineering, studying with training provider South Thames College and employed with Morgan Sindall on the prestigious Crossrail project. She said: “A key benefit of my Apprenticeship is the knowledge I get from the people I work with. I see things from different perspectives and hear stories of unusual situations. It all adds up to a really in-depth perspective of the tunnelling industry.” Promising future She has already achieved recognition for her hard work, being named Crossrail Apprentice of the Year 2013. Tumblepot is keen to emphasise the benefits of her Apprenticeship to others: “I can’t think of any reason why anyone shouldn’t be doing an Apprenticeship! Money, experience, education and a far more interesting work life than anything I’ve ever done before makes it a win-win experience for me.”

Tumblepot is an active advocate for Apprenticeships and has also appeared in a film about Apprenticeships in the construction sector available at

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A ‘significant shortfall of people’: signal engineering demand to outstrip supply in CP5 Source: Rail Technology Magazine Apr/May 2014

NSARE recently completed a major study into the UK’s signal engineering resources and requirements for 2014-19, commissioned by Network Rail. RTM spoke to NSARE’s head of training and skills, Elaine Clark.


etwork Rail’s programme director for signalling, Mark Southwell, took a great interest in work done by NSARE (the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering) on skills forecasting, published early last year. That project showed a significant ‘gap’ between the number of rail engineers available and the scale of works in the pipeline. He asked NSARE to dig deeper, and commissioned a specific study – on behalf of the industry – into signal engineering resources specifically. The results of the study were presented at a well-attended seminar on 27 March at the British Library. The headline finding is that the industry will potentially be more than 2,000 signal engineers short of requirements in 201617, one of the years where the ‘gap’ is at its peak. In reality workloads will be ‘smoothed’


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to try to account for this, and improved ways of working will be developed, but NSARE says that even so, “we should still anticipate a significant shortfall of people when we take into account replacing at least some of those who will retire, who will take a huge amount of experience with them”. The study NSARE’s head of training and skills Elaine Clark (pictured above) explained that this study went into more detail than the previous industry-wide skills forecasting project (RTM interviewed NSARE’s Gil Howarth about that work in our Feb/ March 2013 edition). She said: “Instead of looking at two or three skill levels, we looked at 30-plus specific job roles linked to the IRSE licensing categories. When getting data from different companies, we needed to ensure we were ‘comparing apples with

apples’, and those categories were the ideal way to do that.” The study updated NSARE’s database of upcoming projects in the light of the ORR’s determination for CP5, and revealed an aggregated project workbank for CP5 that amounts to some £5.9bn. Of this, 75% relates to Network Rail, and the rest to TfL, Crossrail, light rail and initial HS2 works. This is larger than the previous estimate, partly because it includes a more thorough analysis of the signal engineering elements of other projects. NSARE says that based on data returns, the estimated signal engineering workforce is 9,200, of whom just over half work in projects and renewals. Only 4% are aged over 60, and the overall age profile is less of a concern than in other parts of the industry – especially traction and rolling stock. The peaks and troughs in the workbank – a notorious problem for the rail industry –

are a bigger issue, and one which Network Rail and other major client organisations have been trying to address across all engineering disciplines. Another is that the proportion of recruitment needed at higher skill levels – technicians and professional engineers – is higher than previously thought, now being closer to 50% than 30%. Clark said: “That is a particular challenge for the industry, because recruiting several hundred – up to 1,000, maybe – technicians and engineers over the next five years is not an easy challenge. It’s probably impossible. So, in the immediate term, people with experience from other industries will need to be brought in and trained up quite quickly. We can’t generate people from scratch in these timescales. CP5 has already started and the challenges of delivering it are upon us.”

study. About half had an apprenticeship but as roles change, it is widely felt it scheme, though only a few took on more could do with being more flexible. than one or two people a year. Coupled Clark said: “The industry is especially with Network Rail, which takes on 50-60 looking to get more flexibility across maintenance-focused signal engineering designer-testers, and some other apprentices a year, the total number categories, so people aren’t having to roughly balances the re-do the same assessments and the number of people same knowledge blocks several times. retiring – but it doesn’t This doesn’t mean making it easier – it allow for the growth means making it more flexible. There that’s coming over the is also a desire to streamline some next few years. assessment processes, and incorporate Graduate numbers more consistency.” are harder to quantify, The IRSE has set up a working group to because they are often look at these good practical proposals to not specific to signal take them forward. Clark said the IRSE engineering when they has been an “integral member” of the first enter the industry, steering group, and chief executive Colin but instead work across Porter spoke at the seminar. electrical engineering roles more generally. Feedback But the best estimate is that there about 140 a The industry has welcomed the study, year joining the railway. which will be presented in its final form to Business processes was Network Rail by the summer, and its key a key issue for many findings are expected to be shared more of the companies and widely after that. engineers interviewed Rather than coming as a big shock, the and surveyed by NSARE. findings mostly seem to quantify and Many of them are clarify what companies and clients already concerned at the high level of re-work knew or expected. But they are grateful at projects’ design stage, up to 30%. that there now exists a sophisticated That figure is consistent with feedback model for signal engineering resource received by RIA, the Railway Industry forecasting and monitoring, which can be Association, representing the supply refined as time goes on. chain. Mark Southwell himself Clark said: “That’s a huge spoke at the seminar day amount of wasted effort, on 27 March, and stayed “The industry is which is costing money for the full day to answer and effectively taking questions, of which there especially looking to designers away from were many. other work. There can get more flexibility He told RTM later: “This also be a lack of visibility across designer- is a hugely important of upcoming work, which piece of work which will would allow for more testers, and some help the rail industry detailed planning. We need to improve business other categories, so understand the demand for signalling resource processes as an industry to eliminate some of that.” people aren’t having across the network and it can supply and to re-do the same how Training courses vary in manage that resource. quality and content, and assessments and the “The industry now has are less standardised baseline of than many employers same knowledge adatagood which needs to be assume. There is no nationally accepted blocks several times. maintained so we can the situation set of standards, This doesn’t mean monitor and take action where and accreditation is making it easier – appropriate. We recognise currently voluntary. The this is a challenge for the study steering group it means making entire industry and we is to consider whether need to work together in a formally accrediting it more flexible." cohesive group to deliver training provision for the most benefit. signal engineering through NSARE’s established processes “It’s clear we must attract new people into the industry through conversion courses is the best way forward. Finally, the IRSE licensing scheme has and apprenticeships in order to increase “served the industry well for the last 20 the supply of signalling expertise. There years”, Clark said – but it is high time to are already many good examples of examine how it can best serve the industry Network Rail and suppliers doing exactly for the next 20 years. The industry likes this, but we need to ensure we develop the scheme’s rigour and independence, this capability further.”

“The IRSE licensing scheme has “served the industry well for the last 20 years, but it is high time to examine how it can best serve the industry for the next 20 years.”

Practical improvements Alongside the quantitative analysis, the project also looked at qualitative issues. These included the ‘international dimension’ (the oft-stated theory that the gap stems from good UK engineers moving abroad), the scale and quality of graduate and apprenticeship schemes for signal engineers, business processes, training courses, and the IRSE licensing scheme itself. The international dimension proved something of a damp squib for those who blame the lure of Australia and the Far East for the lack of UK signal engineers: the evidence suggests that the net effect is minimal, as international workers also come to the UK seeking work, and international companies try to use their global talent pools in the most efficient ways. Clark said: “My key message to the industry on this is that while it’s not a major contributor to the ‘gap’, based on our analysis, we do have to recognise that we live in a global marketplace. Talent will move – both ways. As an industry, we need to take advantage of that twoway street, not just bemoan the fact that people sometimes leave the UK.” New blood NSARE approached the 40 or so companies who provide signal engineering resources in the UK, most of whom engaged with the

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Rail sector needs to be more ‘creative’ in developing talent The rail sector needs to be more ‘creative’ in its approach to educating and bringing new people from different sectors into the industry.

This is according to Julie Carrier, head of rail for WSP, who told us that it is great to see more of a discussion about greater investment in the north and tackling the ‘employment challenge’. Speaking to RTM at the recent High Speed 2 the Northern Hub Dinner, she said: “I’ve been involved with the industry for 20 years, and it is good to see more people talking about the skills challenge.

Julie Carrier Head of Rail for WSP

“But we have to be more creative about it, and think of ways of developing and bringing new people from different sectors in and how we can get everyone stepping up in the industry.”

Education secretary Nicky Morgan has today launched the ‘Your Life’ campaign, which is aimed at encouraging more young people, and especially girls, to continue to study maths and physics: two of the subjects most highly valued by employers and universities. She said:

Nicky Morgan Education Secretary

“The subjects that keep young people’s options open and unlock doors to all sorts of careers are the STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and maths.” “The skills gained from studying these subjects come in useful in almost any job you could care to name – from the creative and beauty industries to architecture. Even in my former profession: the legal sector is crying out for more science graduates as patent law becomes big business.” Morgan, who replaced Michael Gove as the education secretary in the July reshuffle, added that it will be the current generation of schoolchildren who determine how, in as little as 10 years' time, we might be travelling to and from work, who develop the innovative new products that we will be buying, and who build the Britain of the future. “With the support and backing of more than 200 organisations from business, education, civil society and government, Your Life brings together a wide range of existing initiatives to get the message directly to young people, to inspire and promote better opportunities for every child and strive to equip the UK with the skills it needs,” she added.


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Savings vs

safety D

of 1,262 of 15,775 (8%) on the CP4 exit numbers, with the sharpest reduction at the start of CP5. During CP4 as a whole, the maintenance headcount dropped by about 4,000, and signalling and control by 1,000. In CP5, signalling and control is the hardest-hit, with a planned headcount reduction of 4,400, partly because of the introduction of the centralised Rail Operating Centres (ROCs). But what do these efficiency savings mean on the tracks? And do they compromise any areas of the business – such as safety?

Headcount by Discipline Analysis 16000 14000 12000

Head s

Sonia McKay, professor of European Socio-Legal Studies at London Metropolitan University’s Working Lives Research Institute, talks to RTM’s David Stevenson about the impact of efficiency savings on Network Rail’s staff, performance and safety.

uring CP5, Network Rail is expected to deliver efficiency savings of about 20%, on top of the 20% savings made in CP4. The Office of Rail Regulation’s (ORR) ‘final determination’ on Network Rail’s funding for the five-year period noted the previous assertion, in Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan, that maintenance efficiencies in CP5 will come from headcount reductions, improving productivity and avoiding unnecessary work. At that point, Network Rail forecast a CP5 headcount reduction in maintenance

10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0

Source: Rail Technology Magazine Aug/Sept 2014


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CPS Exit S&T

2014/15 Du HQ

2015/16 E&P

2016/17 Contral HQ

2017/18 AM

2018/19 Route HQ

Impact of efficiency savings London Metropolitan University’s Working Lives Research Institute (WLRI) carried out a study published in July 2014, ‘The impact of efficiency savings on Network Rail staff, performance and safety’. Although the study was small-scale, and conducted over a relatively short period of time, the researchers believe its core findings are relevant and replicable. One major finding was that staffing shortages seem to have led to the promotion of a culture of ‘putting off until tomorrow the jobs that could not be done today’, simply because the resources to carry them out were not available. Additionally, as a consequence of budgetary reductions, multiple roles are now expected of many staff. For instance, respondents said that supervisors now held responsibility for safety, budgets and targets. There was a very strongly held view that, at workplace level, safety (regardless of the published statements of senior management on the rail network) had become secondary to the need to comply with the more concrete demands of budgets and targets. The report authors were Nick Clark and Sonia McKay, who is professor of

European Socio-Legal Studies at the WLRI. She told RTM: “The industry has undergone significant changes over the last decade or so, and it is possible that in the course of those changes an eye has been taken off issues of health and safety. We were quite surprised at the degree of concern expressed by those in the focus groups over the future of a safe industry. “What most concerned us was the fact that health and safety responsibilities seemed to be devolved, along with other responsibilities for things like track maintenance. So, one concern is that you didn’t seem to have safety experts operating solely with regards to safety.” Network Rail is in the process of overhauling its site safety procedures to tackle issues like this, by ensuring the person in charge of the job is also responsible for safety, stopping staff from tier 2 and 3 contractors from having that core responsibility for safety (they may feel unable to stop a job for safety reasons if they depend for employment on the people whose work they are stopping), and reviewing the range of safety roles that exist.

“What most concerned us was the fact that health and safety responsibilities seemed to be devolved, along with other responsibilities for things like track maintenance.”

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Sample size issues The researchers organised two focus groups, both held in London, facilitated by the TUC, involving RMT, TSSA and Unite members within Network Rail and its major contractors. The two two-hour focus groups had 11 participants in total: two full-time trade union officials (one RMT, one TSSA); five directly-employed Network Rail staff; and four staff employed by contractors. RTM asked whether this was a fair sample, especially as all the participants were union members. Prof McKay said: “The focus group members were not presenting us with a completely negative assessment of everything. It seemed to me that they had genuine concerns and were trying to raise serious issues. We guaranteed total anonymity. Not even the TUs know who said what.” Even Network Rail’s operations director Robin Gisby said that despite this report being based on the views of just five of its 35,000-strong total workforce, parts of it echo its own recent analyses, and give Network Rail an interesting glimpse into areas it needs to overcome and address. He added: “We are very appreciative of the ongoing, constructive dialogue with our trade unions about improving the safety and productivity of these essential and skilled workers.” Under-reporting incidents Another issue raised by the report was an increase in the under-reporting of incidents involving safety concerns. Among the participants there was a widely-held view that reporting had not led to changes, and that non-reporting had now entered into the culture of the rail industry. Prof McKay said: “Meeting targets seems to have over-run the desire or need to report safety concerns. You need a system where workers are aware of the fact that reporting safety – even if it has an impact on targets – will not affect their employability or their future employment.” “This is about delivering a different culture, but one of the things that struck us is that they [participants] were quite clear that there is a senior level commitment to safety. So they didn’t doubt that there is an overall institutional commitment to safety, but what they were saying is that the commitment is impeded by what has to happen on the ground and how work is organised.” A focus on more maintenance at weekends is also said to have had a consequent negative impact on the personal and family lives of staff. There was also a strongly-held view that wages had declined in relation to those in comparable industries.


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Zero-hours contracts and fatigue In both focus groups, the issue of zerohours contracts was raised in relation to contractors. Workers on zero-hours contracts were doing safety-critical work, participants said. Such workers felt pushed into accepting work even when they knew that they were not fit to carry it out (for example, due to tiredness or fatigue) as they were concerned that if they did not do this they might be excluded from future offers of work. Additionally, as an accumulation of these factors, participants felt that there would be another major incident before long, that it was not a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’. Prof McKay said: “That came through in a number of the different interventions. Participants were convinced that what was happening was going to lead to a serious incident at some stage. “I was also surprised at the hours some of the people were working, and the way they were working. I was equally surprised at the use of zero-hour contracts and long travelling arrangements to get people – particularly track maintenance people – into the areas where they needed to work.” “In my own sector we have temporarily employed people, but inevitably they spend quite a lot of time trying to think where the next job is going to be. That is not a situation which is going to encourage safe working practices.” “To me the situation isn’t sustainable. I’m sure senior people in the industry will explain how it is sustainable, but I can’t see how it is. And I can’t see the sustainability of an industry that isn’t creating safety specialists.”

“I was also surprised at the hours some of the people were working, and the way they were working.” Skills gap Additionally, there were concerns raised about the ongoing skills gap in the industry, given the age profile of many sections of Network Rail. This is a topic that NSARE, the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering, has analysed in-depth for Network Rail, as reported in RTM in recent editions. Prof McKay added that some of the good things people talked about were the apprenticeships and training at Network Rail, which most respondents rated very highly. “The problem is that they say the working conditions people had after training meant that there was an enormous drop-out rate,” she said. “So the industry, in their view, was spending large sums of money on training people to a very high level and then other industries were taking advantage of this.”

Recommendations Prof McKay, who was formerly an employment law researcher at the Labour Research Department (LRD), added that, in her view, if the industry was interested in safety and how best to spend its money, it needs to look at why there seems to be a relatively high dropout rate of trained personnel. The report recommends that the industry needs to move away from its attempts to confine much of the track maintenance to weekends and re-consider the allocation of jobs on the basis of their multi-tasking responsibilities. In particular there is a need to separate responsibility for budgets from those of safety. Additionally, the industry has been advised to conduct a detailed review that takes account of the age profile of its existing staff and which also looks at the reasons for staff movement into other employment, to understand what the workforce of the future will consist of, particularly in terms of its skills profile. On top of this, the industry needs to urgently clamp down on zero-hours contracts. Prof McKay added: “Looking at it from a non-specialist point of view, but as someone who has a lot of specialism in employment law and work conditions, I think long working hours must also be addressed. “We know that tiredness increases safety risks, and zero-hour contracts issues – again this unknown factor – of who is working elsewhere and how do you know they haven’t come straight off another job? – needs to be addressed. “I also think changing the distances and travelling times is important. We were quite shocked to hear of some people travelling 100 miles to do work on line maintenance. This is just not an acceptable or cost-effective way of working. “I do hope that this research will act as a wake-up call to the industry.”

Some verbatim quotes and quote extracts from the focus groups 1



“They might be in the local news but the person working on the track gets hit by a train does not get anywhere near the publicity that somebody travelling on the train gets. A member of the public gets hit on a level crossing, it’s big news. A guy gets bowled over in the middle of a Saturday night from a possession – ‘Track worker injured’. One line.” “Very, very senior management are trying to put out the safety message and I think they’re doing quite a good job of putting out the safety message at a very high level. But the people in the middle of the sandwich, from section manager up, are saying ‘yes I hear what you’re saying but I can’t deliver what you want’.” “You’ve also got people driving to different places of work instead of work being local, and being familiar; so all that local knowledge has dropped.”


“But also they’ve also weakened down the protection arrangements, so when you used to have possessions you would have it properly planned and everything, engineer possessions, T3s [‘absolute possessions’]. They’re now weakening that down because that doesn’t give you the access to the track as quick, so they make them at what they call line blockages which basically only then has a signaller protecting the people out on the ground. And they don’t always put any secondary protection, so we used to always have a secondary protection, so belt and braces that the guys on the ground knew. What you’ve now got is eight people on the ground, with the only protection being in the signal box and yet that signaller as I said before, could have seven of these blocks. But the reason they’ve done it is because of the time constraints from the train companies to get access to the track. So it almost seems like Network Rail, because of financial constraints, is actually led by the TOCs.”


“Yes, there are still some people who really love the railway but there’s a lot of people who’ve retired over the last four or five years who lived for the railway and who could not wait to get out.”

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Railways – the regeneration vehicle By Julie Carrier, head of rail at engineering consultancy WSP UK


ondon is a city in boom. People are flocking to our capital city at a rate never previously seen to be part of the action. Clusters of like-minded professionals are forming around the city centre and extended suburbs, where ideas and creativity are being allowed to flourish, deals are done and the future is shaped. Economists term this agglomeration. There are going to be one million more residents in London by 2020, according to the mayor. WSP research has found we will need the equivalent of 30 new Shards per year to meet this housing demand. London must find a creative and sustainable way to respond to this increased demand. The solution many people choose instead is commuting, and this trend will only increase. On a typical weekday in autumn 2012, 536,000 passengers arrived into central London by rail during the morning peak and 981,000 across the whole day. Over the next 30 years commuter demand is expected to double on longer distance services into London. The challenge is to create a world-class transport network to facilitate safe, reliable and affordable commuting. Thankfully this is well under way with the construction of the ‘mega’ schemes


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Crossrail and Thameslink. Looking forward, the Northern Line will be extended to the huge Battersea/ Nine Elms development, and there is increasing public support for Crossrail 2, connecting Wimbledon to gentrified Hackney. Rail is the regeneration vehicle behind the mayor’s vision. Crossrail Europe’s largest infrastructure project, Crossrail stretches from Reading and Heathrow in the west, across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, covering over 100km of track including 21km of new twin-bore rail tunnels and nine new stations. The scheme, crucially, links Heathrow with Paddington, the West End, the City and Canary Wharf, reducing journey times, easing congestion and improving connections. It will increase the capacity of the capital’s rail network by 10%; up to 24 trains per hour will operate in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel during peak periods, with each train able to carry 1,500 passengers. An estimated 200 million people will travel on Crossrail each year, with many of these passengers coming from roads to

the more environmentally sustainable form of rail transport. The scheme has brought employment opportunities and been a catalyst for regeneration. The wider economic benefits are estimated at £42bn for UK GDP. Improved connectivity will be achieved at 40 existing stations and new stations are being constructed. In particular, WSP has been closely involved in the scheme, working on state of the art stations at Bond Street (below) and Tottenham Court Road. Crossrail has revolutionised the way we perceive the functionality of a station and provided a glimpse of the possibilities for the future of rail travel for discerning commuters. Consideration of optimising retail and commercial space has become as significant an influence on design as the movement of passengers with floor plate values significantly increasing around major transport hubs. In the Bond Street area, forecasters predict an increase in the value of office space from £500/sq m in 2011 to £800/sq m by 2020. Interestingly, expertise gained on these pioneering stations has become sought after internationally, with WSP’s colleagues in Canada and the Middle East keen to deploy London-trained engineers on their own mega schemes.


24 1500




200 million people


Thameslink The £6.5bn Thameslink Programme is a series of improvements to north-south travel through London that, on completion in 2018, will provide improved journey times on spacious, new, purpose built trains that run every two to three minutes through central London at peak times. Similarly to Crossrail, the scheme is all about providing improved connectivity to existing stations, better reliability through more efficient track layouts, and increased travel options for commuters. The scheme is a response to the predicted rise in passenger demand, to ease current congestion in places like the central sections of the Northern Line, and to attract more customers to rail travel.

Farringdon Interchange The area that will benefit the most in economic terms from investment in these mega rail schemes is historic Farringdon. The hub (pictured overleaf) will become the only station from which passengers will be able to access Crossrail, Thameslink and the Underground, and will ultimately have 140 trains per hour passing through it, becoming one of Britain’s busiest train stations. It will be a key link in bringing passengers from outer London to the business hubs in the City and Canary Wharf, providing direct access to three of London’s five airports. This will be a catalyst for regeneration, with Farringdon expected to transform from a hub to a destination in its own right. Infrastructure investment will both re-energise the traditional industries, including the Hatton Garden Jewellers and Smithfield Market, and attract new business to the area. Figures published in 2011 suggested that property prices in the Farringdon area could rise from £850 sq ft to a forecast value of £1,300 sq ft by 2016. The changing face of a railway station The London Bridge quarter, like Farringdon, is benefitting from significantly improved infrastructure. WSP is part of a hugely successful team delivering perhaps the most iconic station transformation in the capital, providing innovative and cost-effective engineering whilst keeping trains running. The first stage of nine was opened on programme in April. The station has achieved the highest CEEQUAL rating for a UK station to date. More space is crucial, and the concourse will be bigger than the pitch at Wembley. The redevelopment of the station, construction of the Shard and nearby Place, and creation of retail space is evidence that a station is no longer just somewhere one would go to buy a train ticket. Retail and convenience is an increasingly important part of a passenger’s commute. London Bridge is also an example of how infrastructure investment drives regeneration; what was once a rather grotty corner of London is now a vibrant, glossy place to shop, dine and enjoy city living. A new rail centre With the proposed construction of a new high speed station at Old Oak Common, which would also serve the Crossrail route, Old Oak Common becomes a very interesting rail interchange. Add in that the location also interfaces with two Overground lines (the North London Line and West London Line), and this humble location will become the centre of the British rail universe!

Proposals are being considered to create the facility for Overground services to stop at Old Oak Common, which would make it an extremely desirable location. Farrells architects have been working on a vision for what they describe as an integrated Crossrail/High Speed Rail ‘super hub’ interchange. It is believed that this could be on the scale of Stratford or Canary Wharf, accommodating over 500 hectares of west London, given the unprecedented level of connectivity that proposed infrastructure links would provide. Farrells’ study concludes that the ‘super hub’ interchange will become a powerful driver for growth and regeneration – the vision could generate an estimated 12,000 homes, 115,000 jobs, a new waterside park along the Grand Union Canal and a rapid transit system. An exciting future It is an exciting time for London, Londoners and anyone lucky enough to be involved in shaping the future of our capital city and its transport networks. Will these and future rail schemes such as Crossrail 2 and HS2 be enough to keep pace with the demands of the discerning commuter? I believe so, and feel passionately that the best cities in the world rely on modern, reliable, sustainable modes of transport as we move in to the future – the pioneering engineers who invented railways are ready to take us on a journey into a new age of technology, possibility and regeneration. However, engineering – and particularly railway engineering – has an image problem. We are not attracting enough new skilled engineers to the profession. One of the huge benefits that many people consider HS2 to bring is the creation of the high speed college – a dedicated elite academy that will train 2000 people per year in the highly sought after skills of railway engineering and related professions. These skills are highly regarded worldwide and will place Britain at the forefront of railway technology and engineering. WSP and others are working with industry bodies and charities to raise the profile of our profession across a spectrum of activities, from encouraging junior school children to take an interest in engineering to offering apprenticeships and collaborating to develop pan-industry training modules in critical skills areas. Einstein said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” I firmly believe this is something we must do now to inspire the great problem solvers of the future; otherwise the next generation of infrastructure plans are at risk of remaining just a vision, and the great progress being made in London will suffer.

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


WHO WILLYOU NOMINATE? T his year, WISE has added two new award categories to further celebrate those individuals and organisations that are leading the way for women in STEM.

Awards Categories NEW Bloomberg Open Technology Award Sponsored by Bloomberg

WISE Girl Award Sponsored by Intel

WISE Apprentice Award Sponsored by Rolls-Royce

Nominations are now open and we encourage you to nominate yourselves, a colleague or your business or enterprise to be considered for recognition.

WISE Inspiring Young People Award Sponsored by Atkins

WISE Hero Award Sponsored by Babcock

WISE Research Award Sponsored by Thales

WISE Campaign Award Sponsored by Network Rail

WISE Influence Award Sponsored by The Royal Academy of Engineering

NEW WISE Tech Start-up Award Sponsored by Goldman Sachs

2014 WISE Awards winners

For full details of each of the awards categories and how you can make your nominations, go to: and click on the 2015 WISE Awards logo. To be kept informed of nomination deadlines and application details, sign up to our newsletter at: 86

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

WISE Employer Award Sponsored by AWE

WISE Health & Safety Award Sponsored by AMEC Foster Wheeler

WISE Lifetime Achievement Award Sponsored by Halliburton

Women in Engineering, and a Global Call for Apparently, I’m pushy. I can’t help it. It’s my genes, and also all I’ve been through. When you’re a woman in engineering, there are a host of voices (some residing in your head, some not), telling you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough—that when you’re alone amid a sea of male faces at conferences, there must be a reason for that. I met my future husband in our first week of college. By our senior year, he was the only person who suggested I should aim high and apply for graduate school in engineering. I had a 4.0 GPA in computer science, yet no professor and no college counsellor had ever suggested it. In my first year in graduate school at MIT, I felt the full-fledged impostor syndrome— the belief I was there by mistake and that I would be found out any day. It turns out that nearly everybody at MIT has this feeling (though most don’t fess up to it), but women in particular do because we are not socialized to own our own successes. I happened to attend a workshop where I learned a great bit of advice: “Fake it ‘til you make it.” To men it comes naturally; women have to be reminded to do it. I was the only woman professor in the first computer science department where I was hired. Then I was the second woman professor in the second computer science department where I was hired, and soon after I was the only one, when the

first woman left. Things are much better now, I’m happy to say. So, push. It’s kind of like Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in,” but a lot pushier. Nothing, absolutely nothing that I have achieved has come without quite a lot of pushing and effort on my part. When I do push, it turns out I can achieve almost anything. That’s not because I’m me, it’s because that’s what it takes, and we all can do that. I’m at USC, where “Fight on” is officially part of our college spirit. So that’s what I do. That may sound trite, but consider this: Studies show that when men are told, “No,” what they hear and perceive is, “Not now.” Does that sound familiar from dating, maybe? It’s actually a great way to be. Women should be like that, too. “No” doesn’t always mean no; sometimes, it means not now, but try again in five minutes. Push for things you believe in. Push for getting more women into computing. And as the curtain rises for National Robotics Week, I’m pushing to get more women into engineering and robotics. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering, where I am vice dean of research, is no stranger to this particular push. Thirty-seven percent of USC Viterbi’s entering freshmen are women; nearly double the national average. In addition, the female student percentage in computer science, a notoriously under-represented field for women, is close to 28 percent, also nearly double the national average.

But it’s not nearly enough. We’re currently in the midst of an ambitious push to change a culture on the national level—to explode some stereotypes about what engineers are, what they look like and what they do. Conveniently, our school is close to Hollywood, the epicentre of popular culture. Rather than bemoan the fact that women engineers are virtually invisible on television and in the movies, we’ve decided to enlist Hollywood to change that. Thirty years ago, MacGyver was the most iconic engineer hero on TV. In 2015, in the spirit of that show, we’re looking for new, female, engineering heroes. No mullets required. The “Next MacGyver” global crowdsourcing competition, led by the USC Viterbi School and the National Academy of Engineering, has partnered with some of the most successful television producers in Hollywood to make it happen. We are looking for the first great show with an iconic female engineer as the main character, and five winners will each be awarded $5,000 and paired with a TV producer to develop her or his script. You can find more information here. I have two daughters, ages 5 and 16, with a son in the middle. One of the things we do together is watch one of their favourite shows and then talk about it. My oldest daughter loves to watch “House.” She tells me she enjoys the way the strong females on the diagnostic team always challenge the lead character’s actions and ethics. We see a lot of strong female characters in medical, forensics, and law shows, but we’ve never really seen them as engineers. Most kids don’t know about the fascinating opportunities for careers in engineering because they are missing in the media. Forensics has soared in popularity as a direct result of media coverage. Let’s do that for engineering! As pushes go, I can think of few better.

Maja Matarić,

a pioneer in robotics, is a professor and Chan Soon-Shiong Chair of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Paediatrics; founding director of the USC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Centre; and vice dean for research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She is urging more women to pursue careers in engineering. The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards





The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards


Who is WSCP?

Women in Sustainable Construction and Property is a networking organisation for women and men in the built environment. Established in 2011 it is now a social enterprise company. It aims to improve the careers, training and education of women and girls entering professions relating to engineering, sustainability and the built environment. From school girls with ambitions to aspiring Board Directors, WSCP seeks to raise awareness of gender bias in businesses and the work place actively promoting equality of opportunity and diversity. WSCP aims to help more women achieve their career goals from junior, mid-career to very senior levels.

What we do?

WSCP offers a means of support to help women and men become leaders in their fields and to support their wellbeing. We provide a platform for women to showcase the skills of their projects and experience. We work with a wide variety of organisations, universities, councils, multi- disciplinary engineering companies and professional bodies. We share project experience and in so doing seek to understand the effect of gender diversity and how it operates at a deeper level. We have 6 programmes and have run over 50 industry events to improve the depth and breadth of sustainability skills and professional competency. We run regular monthly seminars in London and Leeds, attend conferences, run workshops and nominate women for awards. We offer training linked to competency skill sets, effective management and leadership. We seek to develop the talents and potential of everyone in order to improve internal business practices and decision making, increase productivity, recruitment and retention. We help best business practice.

Membership and ambition

WSCP has corporate and individual member programmes, if you would like to provide a speaker at our events, join our events or sponsor a programme. Our programmes align with corporate responsibility strategy. We work with companies and individuals. Please join us as members and support us. We have a growing membership of over 700 on Linked-In. See our Interim website: or Tweet us at @WiSCP

Contact us:


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Emma Nicholson and Liz Loughran, WSCP Directors (07403 361584) (07718588735) 63 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3QQ

and see you in 2016

2016 Preliminary Timeline



January 2016

September 2015



may 2016

april 2016

march 2016

Finalists Announced Nominations Open Nominations CLOSE

For more information about Women in Construction & Engineering Awards visit our website *Dates are a subject to change 92


The European Women In Construction & Engineering Awards | MAY 2015

Awards Dinner Judging Day