Away from the big-name construction firms, there are plenty of examples of women in operational or director roles at SMEs
While the number of women at board level among contractor SMEs is relatively small, there are examples of females in operational or managing director roles, some of whom started their companies.
Chandni Vora (pictured) is chief operating officer of London-based main contractor Vascroft (see “Women in construction: changing the face of the industry”). With a background including finance, engineering and telecoms, she says her skills in project management, process improvement and change management have helped her progress.
“Being in this industry has brought challenges but helped me grow stronger and more resilient, even if I had to prove myself more,” she said. “Construction companies have come a long way to help balance historical gender inequality. There’s still work to do [but] I believe the world is changing for the better and more opportunities for women in construction will be available for the next generation.”
“Being in this industry has brought challenges but helped me grow stronger and more resilient, even if I had to prove myself more”
Other females leading SME construction companies include Julie White, who has been managing director of specialist diamond drilling firm D-Drill & Sawing since 2008. She has taken up a role on the Build UK board alongside Lynn Way, financial director of another SME, Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding.
Monika Slowikowska is owner and director of high-end constructor-developer Golden Houses and Kelly Vincent set up and now runs electrical business Kelly Electrics, and in 2014 was a finalist at the Women in Construction Awards.