Changing the Game: Successful Women in the Construction Industry
The construction industry is evolving in many exciting, positive ways, especially with the rise of technology and innovation. This article will change the popular misconception of relating construction to a man’s job by providing an eye opener and inspiration on how we accept, value and applaud women who decide to work in the industry.
MEP Job Gulf gets to talk to some of the successful women in the built environment, sharing their real life career stories, experiences and challenges on how these successful women are changing the game, setting an example and encouraging other women to consider a career in the industry.
Director - Human Resources
Leaders Fort Contracting LLC
She was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. Growing up in a middle class family, her father worked in a Government of India undertaking and mother was a homemaker. “My family had always given me and my siblings the freedom and liberty to explore and take responsibility for all our actions.” said Adwaita. Having started early in her career while pursuing Bachelors, she joined McDonald’s in India. Very soon she got inspired by the high standards of safety and procedures followed in the organization, many of them being proprietary. It made her decide to pursue a career in HR function soon after completing her Chemistry Hons. Degree, she enrolled for MBA, majoring in Human Resources.
Having married she came to Dubai in 2004 and joined her husband. She joined an outsourced unit of a leading international bank. Following her passion, she then found her way through in to the HR department. During her 15 years in UAE, she had worked with HR teams of well recognized institutions in construction and education industry. Her education, work experience and above all passion for excellence in HR field has opened the right kind of doors. “My success in my current role has everything to do with the trust, freedom and authority vested in me by the management at Leaders Fort Contracting, and a great team to work with.” says Adwaita.
She also feels that “the most challenging part of a role being in HR in the Construction/ Engineering industry is that it is very dynamic due to frequent development and implementation in regulation followed by constant vigilance by ever keen authorities at every given step. It has in a way become a showcase and a barometer for the country’s growth index and one of the few industries where HR, being a support function and a cost centre, is involved with day-to-day deliverable and productivity. There is sizeable workforce which forms the lower strata of the economic demography, and requires very careful handling.”
When ask what she thinks about the role of women in the construction industry, Adwaita explained “Construction and Engineering Industry suffers from very low representation of women that is due to the crude nature of the construction phase which over time metamorphoses in to a beautiful building, which is nothing short of an art form. This imbalance is also a reflection what is visible at the entry point at engineering programs which has historically attracted lesser number of women. However, there are various functions like HR, Architecture, Design, Estimation, Quantity Surveyor, Finance, etc. within the industry which are well represented by women. As with any other industry, every person earns their place in the industry due to their contribution, irrespective of the gender they represent.”
Her advice to give to millennials who are on the onset of their career path “It is important to understand your interests and strengths. One must avoid falling into the trap of living other’s dreams. Parents and friends may have recommendations, but you know best where your heart is. Excellence is very important in every work you do. One should endeavour to accomplish the task in the best possible way.”
HR & Admin Manager
Al Gurg Consultants
Urvashi is from New Delhi, India. Her father was in Indian Airforce so she had to visit various states within India where she learned to be adaptable, embrace different cultures with grace, tolerance and discipline. She came to UAE in 2014 and had worked with a security solution company in Abu Dhabi.
When asked, what motivates her in job? “Determination and will to find innovation solution without compromising on ethics and values is a path to success. Every day brings in a new challenge and that is the most exciting part.” says Urvashi
She also added that “Working in HR department will give you the window to see through all the aspects from the company and employee part. To maintain the balance and come up with a win-win solution is the most challenging part. Developing talent and making them future ready is the key.”
Urvashi also feels that the role of women in the construction industry is yet to be groomed and harnessed when compared to their actual talent and potential. “Females are blessed to be creative, assertive and collaborative in nature which is a unique trait. They just need to find ways to utilize those qualities in this creative industry where everything changes spontaneously.” she added.
Her advice to give to millennials who are on the onset of their career path “Knowledge and hard work always leaps results and leads to success. Always focus and follow your passion. Make a career out of your interest area and give more than 100%. There is always a demand for talent irrespective of the economic and social issues.”