Meet 6 Women Thriving in the World of Construction

So far, the construction and fit-out industry in the region has been a boys club for the most part. But here are six strong women who have entered this field and thrived, breaking the stereotype and paving the way for a new generation of onsite workforce with more diversity and inclusion. 

 


 

These incredible ladies hail from some of the top contracting, quality surveying, and design and build firms in the Middle East region. Each one is on her own unique journey with her own special story to tell. We share their experiences and their hopes for the next generation.

KRYSTAL FERNANDES

Construction Manager, Summertown Interiors
10 years in the field

“For a male dominated industry, and a very low percentage of women working on the ground, I guess it is still getting established that yes, a woman can do this job. Construction was always deemed to be a man’s job but there’s no reason for a woman not to do it, as long as she’s comfortable with the high demands of the role.”

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SOFIYA CARLTON

Project Manager, INC Group
15 years in the field

“The expected professional identity in construction is to be male, however most jobs in construction do not require exceptional physical power, and women are equally capable of doing them. All my colleagues that share a respectful relationship with me. We have similar goals, and we exchange knowledge to accomplish those things as best we can.”

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MARIAM HALIM KAMEL YACOUB

Operations Manager, Head of Design & Build, Al Tayer Stocks
20+ years in the field

“It can be a lot more difficult for women vs men. Women need to be more assertive and work harder to be taken seriously in the contracting field.”

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NICOLA TRIVETT

Projects Director, Summertown Interiors
20+ years in the field

“Having come from construction in the UK, it’s a very different working environment on site than it is here. You have to be very aware of the different cultures at play, the way females are viewed and respected, and certain nationalities’ perception of the role of females. Also as a manager, I have to make certain allowances for the females colleagues in my team, such as safety considerations, not being alone on site at night, etc. I don’t think we are yet in a world where we don’t have to consider these aspects.”

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ALLISON WICKS

Quality Integration Specialist, Qualitaz
15 years in the field

“I have never viewed my gender as an obstacle that would prevent me from doing the work that I love and entering into the field. Admittedly in the early stages of my career, I noticed that I had to work harder to prove myself, and to show that I can make a difference, especially when visiting the sites. This was further compounded by working in the quality field, as you often have to deliver not so positive news if the quality of the work presented is required to be re-worked. However, once the team realises you are experienced in what you do, you are taken just as seriously as your male counterparts.”

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NATASHA ABBAS

Director of Projects, North 51 Consulting
18 years in the field

“I have seen a massive growth in the number of women in construction over the past two decades, with more women joining the forces, be it on construction sites or in the design and consultancy domain. It is not harder being in this field as a female, as it adds to the dynamics of a single gender project delivery team. Women bring an alternative perspective to design, engineering, creativity and construction, which renders itself to a balanced male/female project delivery team.”

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