The AEC (Architectural, Engineering and Construction) industry has always been known to be a male dominated sector. However, over the past few years the number of women working within this industry has grown and there are some inspiring role models working in our sector.
Cadventure has more women than men in the team and as it is International Women’s Day, we thought that there was no better time for the women of Cadventure to tell you their thoughts on what it is like working in this industry.
“I feel that landscape design, interior design and architectural design is not male dominated anymore.” – Shifa (Cadventure’s Vectorworks Professional Services Consultant)
It is a standard thought process that when you think about the AEC Industry you immediately think of it of being a man’s job. Regardless of whether you are a surveyor or part of the finance team, it is presumed that you would deal with a man not a woman. However, women are making themselves more prominent than ever and working in sectors like this one.
“You have to make yourself known” – Julia (Finance Manager at Cadventure)
Growing up women are always taught to blend in. However, when you are the only female in the room blending in can be a challenge but as the years go on women are showing their full potential. They are also adapting on how to present themselves within their line of work to make sure they stand out and are remembered.
Managing Director, Elaine Lewis says “I have been very fortunate in my career. I have not experienced a degree of discrimination based on my gender and have been able to quietly make my voice heard. I appreciate that is not the same experience for everyone. This is why I enjoy my role as a mentor for Women in BIM. This is my opportunity to understand the challenges of discrimination others may face and empower them to stand their ground and overcome these”.
“Celebrate standing out” – Elaine (Managing Director of Cadventure)
Elaine Lewis comments “Remember – we don’t have to wear black or grey suits in our profession. I always try to wear something a little bit brighter, so I stand out at an industry event. That’s the advice I give to the team when we’re going to a conference. We are more likely to be remembered so let’s celebrate the fact that we have an equal contribution to make. I have learned from some inspiring women in our sector that you don’t have to blend in. You can make your voice heard and if you wear something more brightly coloured, it’s extremely easy for someone to point you out!”
We also want to inspire the next generation of AEC professionals. The work that Cadventure do with Alison Watson MBE and Class of Your Own with the Design Engineer and Construct (#DEC) education programme to train 11- to 18-year-olds enables young people to be ready to embark on careers in our sector. This includes dispelling the impression that careers in AEC are for men.
An opportunity to honour women in AEC is the annual European Women in Engineering and Construction (WICE) awards. This grows in stature as well as reach every year with the number and quality of applicants entering this international competition that is phenomenal.
“It is refreshing and somewhat unique to see several strong women in senior leadership positions within Cadventure. Visibility is key to acting as role models for others.
Being the minority in meetings can be intimidating, but confidence in our knowledge as subject matter experts is the fastest way to remove that hesitancy and contribute to the discussion.” – Cara, Cadventure’s Sales Manager for Bentley Systems and Project Information Management Services.
The AEC industry now seems more open to having women be a part of the team and are extremely welcoming. “I thought they would’ve been a little hesitant when approaching me as I was new to this sector, but they were eager to teach me anything, learn about me and my role” Aimee states (the Digital Marketing Executive from Cadventure).
Going into any job can be scary but knowing that everyone is willing to help, guide and mentor you make you feel more comfortable.
What female inspires you?
We asked the women of Cadventure who inspires them, and the results varied from family members to a former colleague and even world-famous icons! All these women are very different however they all had one thing in common… They all push us to be the best version of ourselves.
“Learn when you can, grow when the opportunities arise and just be yourself!” – Timone, Cadventure’s Senior Business Development Consultant.