Hackney resident urges women to consider careers in construction
- Credit: Bianca Guthrie
A Hackney resident wants to see more women in the construction industry after she landed a job at a specialist interior fit-out company.
Bianca Guthrie, 32, joined EE Smith Contracts as a document controller after participating in a Women into Construction (WiC) event.
WiC, an independent not-for-profit organisation promoting gender equality in construction, hosted a virtual session that gave women the opportunity to exhibit their talents to a range of businesses in the construction sector.
Bianca said: “I have always been a practical person.
“Being in document control, I’m overseeing all the administration work, proof-reading and cross-referencing which, with a project of this size and value is really important.”
Previously an electrical engineer and a project planner for leisure centre and education facilities, Bianca is now helping create a luxury new hotel, The Peninsula London, which overlooks Hyde Park Corner.
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She said getting the job had been a great confidence-booster and feels more women should think about a career in the construction sector due to the variety of roles that are available.
According to official statistics by GMB, the union for construction workers, just one in eight construction workers are women.
However, according to a recent study by GoCompare, London is leading the way in bringing women into construction with 3,930 registered female apprentices across its boroughs, learning construction, planning, manufacturing and more.
The study reveals that 6-10 per cent of construction apprentices in Hackney are female, a range much higher than other boroughs, but still behind areas like Southwark where 31pc of apprentices in construction are female.
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Neighbouring Islington has, according to the study, the fourth highest number of women in engineering courses but Lambeth had the most with over 17pc - Hackney, in contrast, has just 1-5pc.
Andy Carter, of EE Smith Contracts, said: “Bianca showed great determination as well as a wide skill set during her placement and we had no hesitation in offering her a full-time post at EE Smith.
“It is important to encourage women and men to the construction industry since there are so many skills and different types of jobs involved in the sector. "
Bianca added: “Everyone at EE Smith Contracts has made me feel welcome and I would definitely encourage more women to consider a career in construction.”
Learn more about Women into Construction at www.women-into-construction.org