Women in Construction

We are grateful to have such a diverse and talented group of individuals driving our company forward. Thank you to all the amazing women at Ardmac for being a driving force behind our success. #InspiringInclusion

Construction is a fast paced industry and full of opportunities for growth. Employee retention has challenged companies to look at flexible ways of working and take on board feedback from employees on how personal agendas at all levels can be supported – this in turn can help attract women into our industry by supporting the work life balance that many women seek.

Females starting off their careers in engineering, design, QS or architecture should want to join a company where there are opportunities for growth, investment in people development and an opportunity to work with different cultures and sectors – construction provides all of these opportunities. If you are good at what you do, the opportunities to succeed in the construction industry have never been better. While traditionally a male dominated industry, continued expansion is changing previously held beliefs and the construction industry has recognised that female participation is vital to its success. Technology and investment in people is making construction a vast and diverse industry and the benefits for women can be immense.

Building Better, Together.

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Championing Women in Construction


Full Name: Lisa Jennings
Role|Title: Business Development & Bid Manager

As Business Development & Bid Manager, Lisa plays a key role in driving business growth, securing new projects, and expanding the company’s market presence in the highly competitive construction industry. 

Read full interview here


Full Name: Lisa Donnegan
Role|Title: Pre-Construction & Design Lead in Engineering 

Recently for International Women’s Day, we celebrated the achievements of the women at Ardmac. One woman who is making waves, in this traditionally male-dominated field, is Lisa Donnegan, Pre-Construction & Design Lead in Engineering at Ardmac. 

Read full interview here


Full Name: Caoimhe Matthews
Role|Title: Recruitment Manager in HR

In a recent interview with Ardmac’s Recruitment Manager, Caoimhe Matthews, she shared insights on the obstacles women face in entering the construction industry and the efforts Ardmac is making to increase the number of females in their workforce  

Read full interview here

Full Name: Justine Geminiani
Role|Title: Pre-Construction Lead in Engineering

Justine graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies from the Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In 2009, Justine began her career as an Architectural Technologist for Moors Milne & Kievit Architects, where she was quickly promoted to mid-management. 

Read full interview here

Full Name: Thays Brito
Role|Title: SHEQ Advisor

Thays Brito, originally from a small town near the Amazon River in Brazil, has had a career trajectory that demonstrates a fantastic work ethic as a health and safety professional in the construction industry. After completing her master’s degree in Health & Safety Engineering, Thays made the bold decision to move to Ireland in pursuit of furthering her career opportunities and language skills.

Read full interview here


Full Name: Lauren O’Shea​
Role|Title: SHEQ advisor

What’s the biggest change you think would benefit women in the industry?
If the word continues to spread. More and more women are joining the industry and to be sure that continues, it is down to the industry itself to promote and welcome more women into the construction world. Businesses should talk more about the positions and opportunities that are available. More young people should be aware of the industry evolving.

Read full interview here

Full Name: Catherine Greene
Role|Title: Senior Quantity Surveyor

I didn’t even know what a Quantity Surveyor was or what their job involved until I was talking to my Dad on what direction / career path to pursue. He works in Construction and asked me if I ever considered Quantity Surveying or Engineering. Coming from an all-girls school Construction and Engineering careers were never fully endorsed in any detail.

Read full interview here

Full Name: Oana Duta
Role|Title: Graduate Architectural Technologist

Tell us about your first job in the industry?
This is my first job in the industry as I only graduated about 1.5 years ago. There have proven to be a lot of learning experiences which I hope to implement to become better in my current role.

Read full interview here

Full Name: Helen Davies
Role|Title: Construction Management Graduate

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

Read full interview here

Women in STEM

Article by Michael Quinn, Director of Engineering

As part of their guidelines for the 2018 employment policies of the Member States, the council of the European Union determined that all Union members should work to ensure gender equality and increased labour market #participation by women.

CSO figures indicate that the construction industry in Ireland currently has the highest number of women working in the industry on record, with the figure increasing by 25% in 2021 to a total of 14,400. Despite this, women still only make up approximately 9% of the overall construction workforce in the country.

The figures specific to Women in STEM in Ireland make for slightly better reading, with the CSO reporting 25% of jobs that require STEM skills are currently occupied by women. However, with only 1 in every 6 engineering graduates being female the likelihood is that the figure for Women in Construction related STEM roles is much lower.

Given the career opportunities available, the impact made by the industry worldwide and the innovation happening on an ongoing basis, this no longer makes sense.

Along with current global supply chain issues, the shortage of personnel is seen as the greatest challenge facing the construction industry in Ireland.  Over the coming years, this is likely to be the single biggest barrier to achieving Government targets for house building, the current National Development Plan and continuing to support the growth of multi-national companies in Ireland.

Over the past 20 years, I have seen the construction industry undergo significant advancement in terms of health and safety, digitalisation, and the application of technology with a ‘work-smarter-not-harder’ philosophy being adopted.  At Ardmac, we “Work Smart”, meaning we deploy innovative technology throughout our business to empower our people, drive performance and delight our customers.  To support this advancement, the types of roles within the construction industry have had to evolve with multiple new technology-based roles emerging and the level of physically demanding roles reducing.

This is especially true in the high-tech sectors in which Ardmac operate. As a leading provider of complex turn-key solutions to the cleanroom and data centre sectors, our business is engineering led.  We aim to employ the brightest and the best for all disciplines within the company, regardless of demographics, to ensure we continue to provide Excellence as Standard to our Clients.

Over 70% of construction firms are said to fully recognise the need for more women in the industry.  It is also clear that there is a huge shortage in construction personnel and that there are more diverse and well-paid roles available within the industry. Despite all this, the uptake of construction sector roles by women remains low. A significant amount of good work has been undertaken over the past few years by organisations such as the CIF and Engineers Ireland to promote the industry as inclusive and diverse, but the sector still remains one of the most gender-segregated in the world.

The reason for this appears to be down to the perception of the industry that still exists. As part of a 2018 survey carried out by the CIF for their #BuildingEquality campaign it was suggested that the Construction Industry had an image problem. One of the comments received relating to this was as follows:

“I think many women when they think of the construction industry think or hard hats, cold weather, dirty building sites and a lot of physical labour. Add to that a perception that it is male oriented, and you can see why it may not be viewed as an attractive career for a woman.” (Senior female professional)

As part of Engineer’s Ireland STEPS programme for Engineering Week, I recently gave a presentation to approximately 100 female transition year students on engineering as a career.  When I asked the group what their impression of the construction industry and engineering as a career was, much of the initial feedback I received was in line with the above quote.  Whilst us within the industry know that careers in construction have changed considerably, becoming more flexible, more technology driven, safer and less physically demanding, there is still much work to do in getting this message across to the wider population.

Key factors encouraging men into the industry include culture, representation, confidence and opportunity and we need to establish these more strongly for women now. At Ardmac, we are working hard to implement the following actions to encourage more women into Engineering and Construction, and we encourage all members to do the same –

All roles within the construction industry should be and need to be open to women.

The key is ensuring that this message is clearly communicated and that the actions of the industry demonstrate this to be true. We need to ensure recruitment campaigns are described and advertised in such a way as to attract a diverse group of applicants.

We need to ensure young women have the same opportunity and exposure to careers in the sector.

From a young age, men see family members, contacts and connections working in the industry. It has been socially acceptable in society for generations for men to see construction as a viable long-term career. They also benefit from being offered subjects at school which provide insights into the work involved and building confidence in their abilities to do the work and find it rewarding. Career offices promote engineering to young men, meaning key elements of the funnel channelling young men into the industry exist as standard. We need to do the same for young women.

We need to normalise STEM careers for men and women starting at primary school.

This includes representation, experience of the work, understanding the impact of the work and training /experience of the type of work involved. We need to continue to work with careers offices within schools to promote the opportunities available and put forward the women and men of our industry who have forged successful careers.

We need to promote the value and impact of the construction industry.

We need to make sure we are conveying the right message to women in promoting these roles. The industry needs to focus on recruitment campaigns that present the vision of the industry and its impact on people and their quality of life. Communicating the contribution that construction projects make to people’s lives and the challenging and fulfilling roles available in the industry will help to attract the right calibre of people.  Employees at Ardmac are lucky to experience this on an on-going basis as we contribute to the delivery of exciting and innovative projects in the life sciences sector, from mobile micro-vaccine production facilities to large scale drug manufacturing facilities.  A career in the construction industry can take you all over the world and present you with the opportunity to be involved in hugely rewarding projects where, regardless of demographics, you can make a significant contribution to the project and society itself.

Catherine Greene, Senior Quantity Surveyor at Ardmac, represented Ardmac as a panellist at the International Women’s Day event on 7th March at Castleknock Hotel, Dublin, hosted by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF).

Ardmac are proud to continue in our support of International Women’s Day in 2024. The day, which is celebrated on March 8th, is a reminder of the progress that has been made towards gender equality, but also serves as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done. 

At Ardmac, we believe that diversity and inclusion are key factors in creating a successful and thriving workplace. By supporting International Women’s Day, we are not only showing our commitment to gender equality, but also recognising and celebrating the contributions of our female employees. It also allows us to connect with other like-minded companies and individuals who are dedicated to promoting gender diversity in the construction industry and provides us with an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, share our own successes, and collaborate on ways to further advance gender equality in the workplace. 

Catherine Greene, Senior Quantity Surveyor at Ardmac, was a panellist at the event. Catherine discussed the IMI’s ‘Women in Construction Leadership programme’. We are incredibly proud at Ardmac to have Catherine representing us at such a prestigious event.  

“International Women’s Day is a day for all of us who are really privileged, privileged enough to be succeeding in ‘hard to reach’ places, to do more and to keep inspiring women to keep trying. We need to look around us and ask, ‘what can we all do, to include more women and more diverse women to achieve great things?’ according to Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, Associate Professor and author. Dr O’Sullivan was speaking to over 400 women from across Ireland’s Construction Industry who gathered in Dublin for the event. 

The conference featured female construction experts across housing, innovation and careers to discuss key issues and challenges within the industry including digital transformation, attracting and retaining talent and housing. Emma May, CEO of Ardale, a leading property development company, and Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, Associate Professor in Maynooth University and author of the award-winning biography ‘Poor’ were keynote speakers at the event. 

The Construction Industry Federation also used the summit as an opportunity to celebrate some of the women who were among the first female members and leaders within the Federation. The morning began by honouring Bridie Moran, Rose Wright, Catherine Reynolds and Patsy Supple who were among the founding members of the Business Development Network within the Federation, which was established 25 years ago to promote the inclusion of women within the construction sector. 

Our Director of Engineering, Michael Quinn is visiting schools this year to showcase what a varied career construction can offer and highlight that all roles are open to our young girls.

The aim of our school tours and visits is to promote construction and engineering to young people, especially girls. There is a male dominated industry bias and we want to show young students that a career in construction is open to everyone. We hope that young girls are encouraged to take on STEM subjects early on and in turn build our future.

If you would like to organise a school visit for your pupils or classmates please contact damien.cunningham@ardmac.com #BreaktheBias