News / 08.03.21
Marking International Women's Day 2021
To mark International Women's Day 2021, we're showcasing some of the women working in the scaffolding industry.
Name: Aleena Wright
Title: Design Engineer
Company: Layher UK
How did you get into the scaffolding industry?
By chance really, one of my friends in recruitment was looking to fill a job for a Junior Design Engineer who had some AutoCAD experience. She knew I was looking for a more challenging role so put me forward. A real case of right place at the right time, although its been a big learning curve I feel so grateful to have fallen into this industry.
What do you like about working in the industry?
I enjoy the problem solving aspect of the job, and that no two projects are the same. With the support of Layher, I am currently working while undertaking a civil engineering degree at London South Bank University, its really opened my eyes to the many aspects which run alongside my role in temporary works engineering. I think it’s really exciting that there’s always plenty more to learn, especially with ever evolving technologies.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
I really wished that at school I had been told that a career in engineering was possible, so I would whole heartedly encourage everyone to consider a career in engineering. Don’t make the same mistake as I did and think that if you’re not the best at maths there’s no chance in pursuing it.
There’s so many different routes into engineering at the moment, it’s all possible if you are willing to put the work in to achieve it.
Name: Beth Hill
Title: Trainee Scaffolder
Company: Connolly Scaffolding
To be honest it’s never a job I thought I would have, I kind of fell into it when I needed a job. Someone I knew at the company put me in touch with Connolly Scaffolding and they were so helpful and nice when I started. Now that I’m working here I couldn’t be happier, everyone makes me feel welcome and I look forward to going into work every day!
I love that you can work in different places all the time, it can literally take you anywhere. I also love the fact that it’s a hands on job and you can really get stuck in, it’s like being at the gym you can always push yourself even further every day.
My advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry would be to just take the leap and do it. At first I was worried about working in scaffolding but I was soon made to feel part of the team and I wouldn’t change it for anything now.
Name: Lynn Way
Title: Company Secretary & Financial Director and NASC President
Company: Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding Limited
I got introduced to the scaffolding industry via my brother. Chris started the company and needed someone to help run the office and set up all the paperwork side of things. I started by helping whilst working for my main employer then the work started to increase, and I left that employer and started to work for Chris full time.
I commenced with just working in the office, then as the company expanded, I started to attend site. I always knew about scaffolding as Chris and our other brother Stephen were both scaffolders, but I didn’t realise what was involved until I started working for the company.
I truly love working in the scaffolding industry. Each day is so varied. You can be sorting out a building site one day and then an emergency job the next. You never know what is coming and get asked to scaffold some fantastic places.
The challenge of the job is also what I like the most. Overcoming so many obstacles to get the job done.
I would say to be yourself. Don’t worry about speaking up and expressing your opinion. Research what you are doing to ensure what you are saying is accurate.
I learnt from other people in the industry by asking questions all the time. People do listen if you understand what you are passionate about.
You do see a lot more women on sites now but don’t be put off if someone looks surprised if you are on site. Above all be yourself.
Name: Priscila Escobar
Title: Design Manager
HAKI introduced me to the scaffolding industry. We discussed the skills that they needed for the job and they were exactly what I had focused on in university. Although I studied aerospace engineering, the basic structural engineering concepts are the same whether designing an airplane wing or a scaffold structure.
We have brilliant minds working in this industry. I really like to have the opportunity of working with them. I am always learning something new from their scaffolding and engineering experience. I also enjoy seeing my work applied to the real world. Scaffolding relies on short time scales, so I don’t have to wait long to see my work being applied to real life projects.
Studying engineering is very hard but it is not impossible. The most important skill required to get your degree is to have passion. Being very hardworking is easy if you really like engineering.
When I graduated from university in 2013, we were only 8% women in the graduating class. Now in 2021, the number has increased to 20% at my university. We need to continue increasing that number. It is worth taking the plunge.
Name: Abigail Robertson
Title: Trainee Scaffold Design Engineer
Tell us a little about your work and what it involves?
My job involves using design software to map out offshore areas and design proposed scaffold in the required zones. I also complete calculations based on scaffold capabilities to determine the platform is safe and satisfactory for use.
Why is it important for us to celebrate women engineers?
It’s our responsibility to shine a light on the industry and prove to young girls that there’s no reason they can’t do it too. We should be encouraging them to shake off any apprehension they feel about entering the engineering environment and work to their strengths.
What would be your advice to young girls considering a career in engineering?
Go for it! The industry needs more female engineers, and the only boundary to your success is you. I love being an engineer – I know that I have the skill set to work anywhere in the world on projects that make a difference to how people live their lives, and that‘s really satisfying.
A number of young professionals discuss their journey into the scaffolding industry and why others might want to follow suit.
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