Helen Davies is a construction management graduate with Ardmac since 2023.

Where are you from & now based:
Originally from Pontypridd (South Wales) now based in Sunderland (working on a Battery Facility job). 

How did you hear about Ardmac’s graduate programme?
I came across Ardmac’s graduate programme when searching for roles in the construction industry via LinkedIn.

Why did you choose Ardmac?
Having decided to retrain and start a new career in the construction industry, I wanted to open myself up to a variety of roles and experiences, the Ardmac Graduate programme was a great opportunity to do this.

What’s the culture at Ardmac like?
I’ve found Ardmac’s culture great to be part of. Our project team have been nothing but supportive to me in my role and respect what I bring to the team.

How did you reach your level of current success
Prior to me joining Ardmac I had worked in the Sport and Fitness Industry for 15 years in the UK, Middle East and Africa. When COVID hit I returned to the UK and decided to return to college and study a HNC Construction and the Built Environment. I believe my current achievements have been a result of my experience, skills and work ethic gained from ‘my other life’, as well as my ability to learn and determination to succeed in this new role and industry.

Why do you do what you do professionally
I want to carve a new career in the construction industry and hopefully a future with Ardmac.

Tell us about your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was a project assistant on a 19th Century Mill which was being converted into luxury apartments in Stockport, Manchester.

Best advice you’ve received to date?
Just be you.

Your advice to women considering a career in the construction industry?
If you want a job in the construction industry, go for it.  The only thing stopping you, is you.

Most surprising thing you’ve heard as a woman working in construction?
Very little surprises or shocks me these days. I think some of the things I come out with surprise the lads on site more (haha)

Biggest myth about women working in the industry?
“Women aren’t treated equally” –  Working on site with Ardmac I always feel respected by our labourers, installers, supervisors, management, other subcontractors, and our General Contractor.

What’s the biggest change you think would benefit women in the industry?
For me nothing, but I’m sure if you were a woman with family, more flexible working options to ensure work life balance is possible. Early site starts could clash with family life and prevent a woman from applying for a site role.

Who’s your role model and why?
My dear friend Tony Connor who has supported me throughout my journey into construction.

Proudest moment to date?
Wates awarded me AESC UK project Contractors Awards 2024 Best Apprentice/Trainee/Graduate (see attached picture) for the work I had been doing on site with their construction team.

What’s your passion when you’re not at work?
In my spare time I teach Spinning classes.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being part of the graduate programme, every day is a learning day, and every day is different. We also have some great characters in our team in Sunderland, the vibe and energy on site ensure there is never a dull moment.

How does Ardmac support you in your career?
Since joining Ardmac I have received support in gaining further qualifications which have included SSSTS and I am about to start my Level 6 Construction Management NVQ. This support will be integral in my next steps after my grad programme.

Do you think there are challenges associated with being a woman in construction?
Although we live in a different world now, there are still some ‘old school’ people within construction who can be dismissive of women in the industry.

Is the construction industry changing, are there more roles opening to women?
The industry is changing. On our site we are seeing more women on the project in non-traditional female roles. However, I don’t see the issue of roles ‘opening to women’. The roles are there, they are open to everyone. Women need to be bold, ambitious and apply for the job – let the best person be appointed and it not be based on diversity requirements.