Wednesday 23rd October 2019
The structure of the construction industry is constantly evolving with the contribution of women who dare to question the stigma that their predecessors were faced with. Becky Lowther, a Quantity Surveyor at calfordseaden, is one of those women. In her recently completed dissertation, Becky has researched the opportunities available to women in the construction industry and whether their options are comparable to their male counterparts.
Becky started her career with calfordseaden in 2014 at the age of 18 as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor. After leaving college, she began to search for a job or traineeship that would enable her to learn valuable skills in a practical and hands on environment. Through her independent research, she found construction was one of the only industries to offer such prospects. With the support of calfordseaden, Becky began studying part-time for a BSc in Quantity Surveying.
Titled ‘Challenging the Ideology of Women in Construction’, Becky’s dissertation explores how the current trends of women in the industry are developing. She asserts that her own experience of being perceived as undertaking an atypical career path for someone in her position guided her towards researching this important subject area. Despite the general perception, Becky has witnessed that the industry offers a considerable amount of opportunity for progression. Furthermore, her research makes it apparent that more women are stepping into male dominated industries due to factors such as changes in law, increasing allowances of part-time working and the general cultural shift towards women in the workplace. Another great contributing factor is the availability of and access to STEM subjects in school with STEM GCSE entries, such as mathematics and design and technology, now including 51% of applicants from females.
The conclusion of Becky’s research identifies that the absence of women in construction could, for the most part, be attributed to the lack of insight women have about the available opportunities within the industry. It is then our responsibility, through supportive communities such as WISH, to ensure that women are encouraged and provided with the right information to guide them through a career in construction.
Now, at just 23, Becky has graduated with a first class honours and five years of experience under her belt. She is looking forward to gaining as much experience as possible, enrolling on The Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to qualify as a RICS accredited chartered surveyor, and climbing the ranks of management at calfordseaden.