“I would say that instead of buying a doll for a girl, you should buy her lego blocks.”
NIXON’s Architectural Technician offers her advice ahead of International Women’s Day to get more women into construction.
Newly appointed Architectural Technician Kasia Kozlowska and Trainee Quantity Surveyor Olivia Bibb talks about the importance of International Women’s Day (IWD) and what more could be done to support women in the construction industry.
Figures show that women make up around 14% of construction industry professionals and, according to the latest statistics there are only 620 female apprenticeships compared with 20,000 males – so there is undoubtedly much work that could be done as an industry.
As a dynamic and forward-thinking construction company, NIXON recognises that there is a huge challenge sector-wide and supporting IWD’s campaign to #BalanceforBetter is an important step.
NIXON’s Architecture Technician Kasia believes early intervention, particularly with younger girls, could improve the status quo.
Kasia, who juggles a full-time position at NIXON is also studying a postgraduate in Construction Law at Strathclyde University, said: “The amount of women is increasing, however, construction is still male dominated and I believe women can bring so much to the industry.”
“The percentage of women is still very low and, I think, girls need to be provided with suitable opportunities to breakdown barriers. It is important to focus on young girls and to help them to be interested in the profession from an early age. I would say that instead of buying a doll for a girl, you should buy her lego blocks.”
Olivia Bibb, a trainee quantity surveyor joined NIXON more than two years ago, after being encouraged to apply for a programme at the City of Glasgow College by one of her peers. She admits it wasn’t something that she had ever considered before but would now encourage girls to think of construction.
She said: “At 17, construction wasn’t something that I had ever considered before, however, I applied to college and I was surprised to receive an offer for an interview. It was intimidating at first as there were so few women in the class but now that I have been there for two years, I don’t even notice.”
Olivia, like Kasia, thinks the opportunities in construction should be better highlighted to primary school girls to encourage them to pursue careers in the industry.
She added: “I don’t remember it ever being an option but now with more role models hopefully this will change. I think we need to capture girls from an early age and tell them that there are jobs in construction and opportunities they can have as well as boys.”
Olivia will be joining Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in August this year to complete a BSc (Honours) in Quantity Surveying while working at NIXON.
International Women’s Day is campaigning for #BalanceforBetter by celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness of gender bias to forge a more gender-balanced world.