As part of the #BuildingEquality 2018 Campaign, Pauline Yeo, Quantity Surveyor, L&M Keating, shares her story as a woman in construction.
My name is Pauline Yeo, and I am a Quantity Surveyor who has been working in the industry for over 25 years.
My first job was with a local council in the UK, working on the seafront as part of the management team. During the winter months, I became involved in maintenance and repair works to the seafront structures. This developed my interest in construction. I then transferred to the Housing Department to commence my training as a Quantity Surveyor. The council supported my education, and I attended the University of the West of England on a part-time basis to complete my honours degree.
I later left the council to work for a private practice that had several offices throughout the UK and Russia. With the support of the company, I progressed to an Associate Partner of the practice and completed my chartership to become a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Now reflecting back I realise that during the first half of my career I had never encountered another female working in a technical capacity within the industry.
I had the opportunity to work in the Caribbean for an international practice where I began to work alongside other female members of the construction profession. Following a period working on mostly high-end condominium projects, I moved to Ireland to work for a contractor for the first time in my career.
Working for L&M Keating has proven to be highly enjoyable due to the diverse nature of the projects the company undertakes. Every day offers different challenges, and the successful completion of a project is very rewarding. Throughout my time in Ireland, I have worked with many females occupying technical roles, which demonstrates that there are increasingly more women entering the industry. I currently work as part of a team of Quantity Surveyors where there is an equal mix of men and women.
I see the challenge for the industry as not being just about attracting women into roles, but, more importantly, retaining women and men who may decide to start a family. We are living in an age of modern technology where hopefully flexible working arrangements may become more of a day to day reality enabling women to continue their careers while having their families.
To any woman considering a career in construction, I would highly recommend it. It is a career full of variety where no day is the same. The industry is a fast-paced and exciting environment to work in. It has enabled me to travel and work at the same time. Additionally, the industry offers options for changing career directions through many of its specialist sub-industries. Throughout my career, I have never felt that I have been treated any differently because of my gender and have always felt accepted as part of the team.
To learn more about the #BuildingEquality campaign and to share your own story, please visit our dedicated #BuildingEquality page here