Joanne Graham, design manager at Gilbert-Ash, studied architecture as a route into the industry
Why did you choose construction for a career?
My choice of construction came from a drive to improve the condition of the built environment. The standards of the buildings and spaces used to live, study, work, spend leisure time etc has a huge impact on its occupants and the quality of our lives. I studied architecture as a route into the industry, which gave a great grounding to my current role as a design manager.
What are the best bits of your job?
I find the constant learning, problem-solving and no two days or projects being the same incredibly stimulating. For me, this is a great advantage of my job. Unlike some industries, in construction your hard work and team effort get turned into something you can physically see and experience. Knowing that you contributed to the stages of a building coming together and then completing is very rewarding.
“I find the constant learning, problem-solving and no two days or projects being the same incredibly stimulating”
What would you like to change about the industry?
I would like to see greater gender diversity at all levels within the construction industry. Most of the meetings I attend have a male majority and it would be fantastic to have many more women around the table.
Why did you choose to pursue chartered member status and how does it benefit you?
I felt after several years in the industry, obtaining chartered membership was a way of formally acknowledging and paying credit to my experience. As a chartered member of CIOB I am part of a wider community that offers further methods of learning and knowledge sharing, ultimately improving the construction industry as a whole.
What do you do in your spare time?
A current spare time activity is learning to speak Irish, a much harder task than I had anticipated!