Carol Massay, Head of Construction at The Access Group, recently took part in Power Mentoring, a mentoring event hosted by the BPIC Network. The aim was to empower and elevate the careers of black professionals in the built environment.
Mentors spoke of their own experiences in the construction industry, and collaborative and focused breakout sessions allowed for everyone’s questions to be answered. No matter the level of job role, all were welcome at the event. Queries included:
- How can I make the next step within my organisation?
- How do I stop feeling so nervous when I want to talk about promotion and what I can do for the business?
- How to stop my “heart pumping out of my chest” when I want to participate in a meeting where I feel I am in the minority?
- I thought working in the construction industry was about out on the site.
A high number of registered attendees joined the session, and they were divided into groups like undergraduate, middle management, senior management and more.
The mentors included:
- Carol Massay, head of construction at The Access Group
- IJ Samuels, associate director at Turner and Townsend
- Roy MacPepple, advisory for national housing and places at Delivery Consortium
- Emma Porter, managing director at Story Construction
- Maria Orfanidou, managing director of M-Power Group
- Marlene Boateng from EMG Group
Carol said: “This was a great session with mentors from different roles within construction. We openly shared our experiences with others, but having the opportunity to hear first hand as to some of the perceptions and challenges that individuals have to overcome was an eye opener.
“The construction sector is striving to bring more talent in to ensure that it is sustainable for the future. It is so important that individuals get a chance to speak and reach out to key professionals who are able to unlock their confidence and provide them with the support and guidance with words of wisdom.”
About the BPIC Network
With a mission to improve diversity in the construction and built environment industry, BPIC provides solutions for organisations to create inclusive work environments. The organisation also looks to increase the number of BAME individuals in all areas of the industry, from major infrastructure projects to technology, law and finance.
The Power Mentoring event is one way in which BPIC achieves this goal. Attendees learn the unspoken, hidden insights that will help them progress in their career, regardless of their level.
The construction sector will be further challenged over the coming months and even years following Brexit. UK talent wanting to move into the construction must feel empowered and have the confidence to strive into bigger roles making room for graduates to take that first step.
Carol says: “For me, I would encourage anyone wanting to further their career within construction to look at what role they feel they have the right skills for and build on any key certifications required.
“Approach contractors to introduce yourself expressing what skills you have and what your aspirations are. Believe it or not, an individual approach sometimes gets more attention than that of a recruitment company. If you can, look for a mentor who will support and guide you through your day-to-day job function and the business environment.
“Finally, don’t be afraid to put yourself out into the construction network using social media platforms and build key relationships. Just be passionate and determined in what you can deliver.”
BPIC has a number of initiatives in 2021 working to support construction businesses in recruiting key roles into their organisations and assisting in further mentorship programmes once roles have been secured.