As part of International Women's Day this Wednesday (8 March 2023), Year-Out Placement Student- Ayla Hulse - has been undertaking a number of initiatives at King Henry VIII School's live site to help inspire the next generation into the industry and more particularly, helping to change the stigma and narrative around construction for females.
King Henry VIII High School in Abergavenny, is a live site project currently being delivered by our Cardiff office in the Central & West region. As part of an programme of engagement agreed with the school, the team are celebrating International Women's Day by delivering assemblies and workshop sessions to the pupils throughout the week, to promote Women in Construction and the industry as a career choice for all.
The pupils will be moving across into the new school in 2024, and as they are next to the construction and seeing the work progress, we think this is a great opportunity for the pupils to get a better understanding of what we're actually doing. As I'm on this project, it's also nice for the pupils to see a young female working on a project they know and I'm hoping that talking about it in these sessions is changing their perceptions about women working in this sector''.
What's been happening
On Monday this week, Ayla and Social Value Manager - Owen Stacey - delivered an assembly to the Year 10 pupils about all the opportunities construction has to offer as a potential career choice. Owen went into detail about the types of construction and the roles available, and Ayla followed by discussing the variety of entry routes into Morgan Sindall, also giving her first-hand account of her journey and how she has found being a woman in the industry so far.
''It was important to share in detail to the students about how I got into the industry as sometimes it takes hearing this experience to inspire just someone. It was also important to stress to the pupils that it's not just hard-hats and hammers, instead there's opportunities like mine in designing.''
Like the students at the school, I actually lived nearby a Morgan Sindall site years ago and at the time, I was deciding whether I wanted to study Architectural Technology at university and if this was the career route for me. I had seen the site hoarding each day so decided to contact the company to see if I could get some experience or talk to someone about construction. I ended up being put in contact with the Design Manager who I shadowed for the day and that was a big factor in me deciding that this was the route for me and motivated me to choose my course at university.''
After being inspired, Ayla enrolled on to the Architectural Technology and Design course at the University of the West of England , which involved an year-out industry placement. Having had that experience with Morgan Sindall previously, Ayla was offered a placement on the King Henry VIII's School and is now 8 months into her Design Management placement.
I'm really enjoying it! I've also had opportunities to spend time with other disciplines which has been highly beneficial and enjoyable. I am hoping to come back for the Graduate Design Manager position after completing my final year at university.''
This Wednesday Ayla and Owen will deliver the same assembly to Year 9 pupils followed by a planned workshop which will invite female pupils from both year groups to take part in a 2 hour interactive session. During the workshop, pupils will be allocated a Construction Management role such as a: Quantity Surveyor, Design Manager, Sustainability Manager and Bid Manager. They will then be put into groups and have to complete the floorplan for a school, working together to consider all aspects from design to budget, showcasing how a project goes from inception to completion!
We're hopeful that these sessions will provide some insight into the work that's going on just a stone's throw away from where they currently are. Being fairly early on in my career as well, I'm hoping that promoting my journey as a young female in this industry is changing the narrative and that there's a great development path for females as well as males for a very successful career here.''