As part of the #BuildingEquality 2018 Campaign, Lorraine Brady, Design Manager with BAM Ireland, shares her story as a woman in construction.
My Dad taught Construction Technology in a local secondary school. The house was filled with construction text books, tee squares and piles of drawings. My elder sisters chose careers in architecture so it seemed the natural progression for me after secondary school as I watched our living room transform into a drawing studio with A0 drawing boards.
I left college and pursued a career in traditional architectural practices. However, it was when I joined a US EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management) firm that I found my true passion Project Management.
I undertook a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Construction Law and Contract Administration at Trinity College Dublin. I spent the next fifteen years leading teams as a Design and or Project Manager on large scale EPCM projects from Norway to Singapore.
I loved the challenge of developing a project execution strategy from concept through to commissioning / validation and handover, managing and considering risk, design and change management.
When I first joined an EPCM firm it was one of the Project Directors who pushed me from my architectural comfort zone into the world of Project Management saying on a €30 million EPCM project “take the lead you can project manage and you can do it!” I never looked back.
Today I am the Pre-Construction / Design Manager for BAM Ireland on the New Children’s Hospital project in Dublin. Women need to see, and the industry needs to value, the benefits of some of our unique skills, which benefit construction projects; complex problem solving, our interpersonal skills, our ability to read Clients and teams using female intuition to really deliver what is required by the Client and needed by the team.
We need to show young girls that they can lead highly exciting and rewarding careers in Construction. We need women in the industry to be more high profile, lead the way, more documentaries such as the excellent RTE Royal College of Surgeons showing an exciting and complex project being led by a female Construction Manager.
Single sex girl schools need to offer more construction / engineering subject choices. The industry also needs to show real rewards for women. Women will enter industries where hard work and results yield rewards in position and salary. We need more women represented at the Board Room table with equal power and pay. If more women fulfill these senior roles in construction (with equal rewards) young girls will follow.
To learn more about the #BuildingEquality campaign and to share your own story, please visit our dedicated #BuildingEquality page here