To mark International Women’s Day, we are challenging the misconception that construction careers are aimed only at men. Read Theresa’s story below about how construction is #NotJustForBoys.

Can you describe a typical working day?

In my role as Assistant Contracts Manager at Heron Bros, two days are rarely the same! My duties on site include ensuring that the project is completed to the highest standards on time and within budget, meeting design team/client to discuss designs/budgets/progress, assessing project delays and implementing solutions to rectify these. Not all of my time at work is spent on site and I often work from our Head Office working on tenders for new projects, assisting with the development of management procedures and reporting on projects to present to the Board of Directors.

What has been your educational/career path to this post?

After my GCSE’s, I pursued a National Diploma in the Built Environment at Belfast Institute for which I achieved a Distinction. Following that, I undertook a BSc Hons Construction Engineering & Management degree at the University of Ulster and achieved a 2:1 and recently became a Chartered Member of the CIOB. I have been with Heron Bros over 11 years and have progressed from Junior Engineer to Assistant Contracts Manager.

What are the most valuable skills or the necessary skills for you in your role?

Strong communication and problem-solving skills are paramount for my role. You need to be able to think quickly and provide alternative solutions when met with obstacles. Planning and organisation are also key skills. Being able to prioritise critical items and minimise risk are central to success. Being an enthusiastic team player is essential and having the ability to unite the project team with a can-do approach, I believe, enhances performance.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Personally, I love being out on site, having spent 10 years as a site-based Engineer. It is gratifying to watch the project come together before your eyes. Working as part of a team who share the same end goal is motivating. The progressive team culture at Heron Bros makes it a great place to work. Successfully handing over high-quality buildings to satisfied clients makes the hard work worthwhile. I enjoy the variety my career offers and the opportunities I have for continual professional development. I also get a real sense of fulfilment from mentoring junior staff by providing practical advice, encouragement and support.

Can you say anything about the future job prospects in your industry?

The construction industry is growing steadily which means that there are great job prospects for the future in a variety of roles.

What advice would you give to any young person thinking of a career in your industry?

Give it a shot! Hard work, determination and a good attitude will take you far. There are a wide range of career opportunities to explore. For any females who are considering a career in construction, I would say don’t be put off by gender stereotypes. In my experience, enthusiasm and ability will always be recognised and respected, regardless of gender, and this this is definitely the case at Heron Bros who have a higher female representation than the industry average.


Click here to view current Careers Opportunities at Heron Bros .