As part of the #BuildingEquality 2018 Campaign, Liz Carroll, HR Director, McGrattan & Kenny Ltd, shares her story as a woman in construction.
Having completed my Inter Cert (in the early 80s) I planned doing Engineering, more specifically Civil Engineering. I liked bridges. I even did Physics after school as it wasn’t an option in the all girls’ school I attended. Then shortly before the end of 6th year, I did a complete turn around and decided I was going to do Communications at what is now DCU.
I’d been to an open day – it looked interesting and fun! It was almost 30 years after graduating that I moved into the construction industry – in 2017 I joined McGrattan & Kenny to help return the company to sustainable growth.
My career has not been in one industry or one field; it has focused on the development of people, whether as individuals, part of a community or as employees or business owners. I have worked in Youth Services, Youth Reach, Rehab, the Institute of Public Administration, DIT, Griffith College and ISME, amongst others. During this time, those that have inspired me most are those that have achieved their goals despite the difficulties and challenges they have faced.
We need to focus on ability and what an individual can contribute and therefore gain from an experience rather than the barriers to participation. The culture of a company needs to be open to difference and to use that difference to benefit the company and the individual. Highlighting difference between people does not benefit anyone. Highlighting the difference someone can make does. It is important to be able to see opportunity not obstacles, possibilities not adversity, in the paths that are open to us.
To attract women to the industry, at whatever stage of their career they are at, we need to focus on what is in it for them, whether it is experience, progression opportunities, flexibility, recognition… something to enjoy.
To learn more about the #BuildingEquality campaign and to share your own story, please visit our dedicated page here