In the 21st century, the number of women working in the construction industry is still surprisingly low. Figures show that only 11% of the 2.96 million pound industry is female.
Along with a shortage of skills, the lack of female representation is arguably a key factor in holding back the growth of the construction industry.
Carol Massey, CEO of EasyBuild Construction Software, is an inspiring women role model for all females. Carol has worked hard to earn her way to the top of the Construction Software Industry, showing women all over the world that is can be done and they shouldn’t be held back by an outdated view on the industry.
Carol spills it all. How and why she got into the construction industry and her experiences with making it to the top.
What inspired you to enter the construction software industry?
“I have always been interested in how things are built and constructed. The interest further expanded in how the different cost information are captured at different stages during the life cycle of construction”
How did you get into the construction industry?
“My first introduction to Construction started as an office junior tasked with collecting large tenders for a well-known top 100 construction company (Laing Management) and copying and binding ready for their submission. I was intrigued with the level of detail in what the client was asking of the contractor and what evidence they had to provide.”
What was your journey into your career?
“I studied accountancy at night school, and when the opportunity came joined Barratts Homes in their busy account department managing cost for projects. My knowledge and interest increased, and I then started working for an established Irish contractor in their UK offices as FC managing the reporting of project cost. I was the senior lead to review systems to improve the timeliness of capturing information for cost for the business and implemented a construction specific solution.
The journey was challenging in that there were several senior accountants in the business, but they skills were not based on being on the front line of a real construction business. I was used to have the monthly debates with the commercial team when the reality of their project cost was presented!!!”
Was it a difficult process?
“I wouldn’t say it was difficult, as I am a strong believer if you enjoy what you do and are challenged by it, then nothing should really stand in your way. Yes, as a female, there would always be that question, ‘would I have had that response if I was a man?’ but it never really phased me as an individual.”
Were you aware of the lack of female representation?
“Sure, construction is a difficult industry to work in, and I do believe you have to be thick skinned to stand up and be counted. Yes, there is the banter that takes place, but I have seen more women be disrespected in some of the top chain of hotels and restaurants around London.”
Do you feel as if you are a minority in the construction industry?
“In the role that I currently am in, yes. Does this bother me? Not at all, after 30 plus years in the sector I am not going to worry about it, just focus on the job in hand.”
Is there anything you have struggled with, in being a female in a male dominated industry?
“Nothing specific that I can think off. I am passionate about the industry I serve, and I suppose I become blinkered that it is a male dominated environment, especially when I can understand and communicate on the same level as my male counterparts.”
What do you enjoy about working in the construction industry?
“No two days are the same, the challenge, knowing that you can help make change by improving business processes and introducing the appropriate technology to drive cost down and give better visibility to business.”
What would you say to young women who are looking for a career path, or hesitant about entering the construction industry?
“This is a great industry to be a part of, full of challenges and diversity for wherever your strengths are. I am a prime example of this….”
Do you know any inspiring women who have fought against the stereotype and are working hard in the construction industry?