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Embracing Females of the Future in Construction

NAWIC Hartlepool Schools Competition

Here at Hartlepool College, we pride ourselves on inclusivity. This means, amongst other things, tackling gender bias. Annually our school of Construction and Built Environment and NAWIC North East and Tees Valley host the Design and Build Competition; bringing together female leaders in the Construction industry with female students from Hartlepool schools, to inspire the next generation of leading females in the industry. NAWIC, The National Association for Women In Construction, is an international organisation of women working within the construction industry which seeks to promote diversity and equality across the construction industry by organising events where members can meet and build relationships with other professionals in the industry.

One of those was Rachael Moran ~ Quantity Surveyor at Gleeds Infrastructure & Co-Chair National Association of Women in Construction Yorkshire. We grabbed Rachael for a quick chat about the event and future developments of NAWIC.

This year was a record year for the Hartlepool event, with over 75 students in attendance. The engaging workshop-style event, now a staple in the College calendar, brought together a whole host of female construction professionals to work side by side with those aspiring to follow in their footsteps.

The event was attended by Year 8,9,10 and 11 girls from schools across Hartlepool and East Durham to highlight the opportunities available for girls within the construction industry and the wide range of courses available at Hartlepool College to support future careers.

NAWIC Student Challenge 2022 ~ Hartlepool Schools at Hartlepool College
NAWIC Student Challenge 2022 ~ Hartlepool Schools at Hartlepool College

The morning started with an introduction from John Cartwright, Head of Construction and Built Environment at the college followed by a short presentation from each of the women who had volunteered to assist with the morning. Speakers ranged from Building Service Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Project Managers, Health and Safety Directors, Civil Engineers, and Planners.

Angela Carney who organised the event and is Managing Director of Carney Consultants was keen to impress upon the girls that women in the construction industry are massively underrepresented and they are as capable as men, so the construction industry should be viewed as an opportunity for the girls in the future.

Each speaker then assisted a table of girls with the design and build challenge which was to design a school or college building and build it out of Lego. Each design had to be fully costed, to a tight budget, include an element of fun and incorporate some form of renewable energy generation. The girls then presented the end product to the room and a vote was taken to decide the winning team.

To finish the event there was a question and answer session with the panel of speakers. Questions included ‘how did the speakers get into construction’, ‘whether they liked their job’ and ‘how much they got paid’! The girls seemed genuinely surprised at the wide range of opportunities available to them and commented that the speakers “didn’t look how they expected women in the construction industry to look”.

NAWIC Winners Student Challenge 2022 ~ High Tunstall College of Science
NAWIC Winners Student Challenge 2022 ~ High Tunstall College of Science

Well done to High Tunstall College of Science Yr10's on winning the Competition and indeed to all the other schools who took part.

John Cartwright, Head of Construction and the Built Environment said “It was a very positive event and as well as Racheal from Gleeds we were so grateful to have representatives from Mott MacDonald, Believe Housing, Cairn Cross, Carney Consultants, Engineering UK, Turner Townsend, Castle Building Services and Ethical Partnerships to support the event. Our industry is growing in more ways than one, not only are we seeing a huge rise in job opportunities and higher skilled work we are seeing a sustained improvement in the percentage of those jobs that are being occupied by women. It is events like these which encourage girls to consider future careers in the industry and promote gender equality and diversity across the construction industry. We are so grateful to the NAWIC team for their leadership on this important topic.”

View and or download the photos from the day here >> https://www.flickr.com/photos/hartlepoolfe/albums/72177720297507421

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