Harriet Douglas – Finalist

Harriet is a Site Manager at EQUANS working on major works projects across London, managing projects from start to finish. Daily tasks include managing supply chain and site staff, managing health, safety, and wellbeing on site, and communicating with all stakeholders and demonstrating quality assurance whilst managing it. Harriet’s role is to deliver projects safely, efficiently and cost effectively, ensuring works are built in accordance with regulations whilst giving clients value for money.

To get to where she is now, Harriet has demonstrated work ethic with previous work placements in-between and around her studies at school. She joined the business she is in after leaving school at 18, and since being with the company they have supported her to achieve her goals, including putting her through further Qualifications to enable Harriet to be competent and carry out her role confidently. This included the SMSTS, IOSH and Specific site works training such as a scaffold awareness course. Finally, Harriet has just completed her Quantity Surveying Degree, which was carried out part time for 5 years. She has been in the industry for 7 years now.

In 5 years’ time, Harriet aspires to be leading a division within the company, her ambition includes leading and inspiring not only this generation but the next generation into taking pride in the works delivered to leave a legacy in the communities they work in.

Harriet’s favourite aspect of working in the construction industry is that no day is the same.

“Everywhere I have worked there are different demands, works being carried out, cultures and therefore no job has ever been the same, it is unique to everyone and when a difference to people’s homes and lively hood is made there is nothing more rewarding.”

 “I enjoy all participating in many sporting activities and also watching it with a drink in hand with family/friends!”

I would like to thank Samuel Snelling for nominating me for the award, my company EQUANS for supporting me and enabling me to fulfil my career ambitions. Finally would like to thank Charlotte Forton (Quantity Surveyor for EQUANS) for continually inspiring me.

Lana Edwards – Finalist

I am a self-employed Tracked Excavator operator, operating machines between 1t and 50t, working predominantly on the civils side of construction.

I came into construction six years ago after working in a family plant and agricultural contracting business all of her life. After her father’s retirement, Lana decided she would operate machines on sites as a self-employed operator.

“In five years’ time, I would like to be working more on the training side of things passing my knowledge down to next generations of female operators.”

Anyone you’d like to thank/shoutout? 

“To all the other ladies out there.”

Kate Gliddon – Winner

Kate is as an Estimator/ Quantity Surveyor for Perrin and Son Construction Limited, a principal contractor who undertakes a variety of commercial projects; the most recent being New Covent Garden Market.

Kate started in the construction industry as an administrator when she was just 17. With no idea what she wanted to do within the industry, her then Director, Simon, allowed Kate to shadow various colleagues to see what interested her.

“My first task as an assistant QS was to assess subcontractor valuations so I was required on site to check the works they had complete that month. I remember a certain subcontractor knew I was dealing with it and tried their luck by adding variations without doing the works!

“Straight away I had a challenge as a female but more fool them for thinking a woman can’t be in the construction industry. It made me more determined, allowing me to undertake further training not only to prove them wrong, but to also progress further up the career ladder.

What is your favourite aspect of working in the industry?
“It would probably be making an impact on the community. Construction is one of the few industries that truly makes a difference in the community.

“Construction provides us with an opportunity to shape the world, and whether it be several months or years after the project is completed, we can look proudly back at what we have helped to build.

What would you change about the industry?

“I think our industry has come a long way, but still has a hard road ahead. There is a danger in sticking to habits, and this has been seen in the construction industry where almost everyone seems to be stuck in the same practices that have been around for decades.

“Traditional approaches do not need to go away simply because new practices and techniques are needed. As a matter of fact, it should be our ultimate goal to find a way in which we can incorporate both positive elements from the past and innovative techniques from the future. As a result, the construction process will be further developed, and productivity will increase.”

What are some of your hobbies outside of your work? Why?
“One of my biggest passions has always been motorbikes. I like to ride worldwide.

“The best road trip so far for me was doing the Pyrenees in 2014. When you’re riding a motorcycle, you don’t just look at the scenery, you become a part of it. Your entire body is immersed in the beauty instead of glancing at it all through a window in a car.

“Family time is at a premium these days, thanks to longer working hours, endless commutes and all the other demands on our time. That is one reason I love camping; camping brings people together without the distractions of the modern world, meaning we can actually chat, laugh, and interact like a proper, old-fashioned family.”

Anyone you’d like to thank/shoutout?
I’d like to thank Simon, my director at my first construction job. He was extremely supportive and allowed me to trial and error a variety of routes to figure out what I wanted to be. Without his guidance, knowledge, and support, I definitely would not be where I am today.

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