Posted 02.03.2023

Welcoming our new Graduate Project Manager, Morgan Evans

It is a great pleasure to introduce our newest addition to the Newydd team as our Graduate Project Manager, Morgan Evans. 

Here's what she had to say about her experience working in the construction industry and explains what exactly is her role working as a Graduate Project Manager for Newydd.

In all honestly, the thought of construction project management as a career had never crossed my mind during my last years of school, or even my first year of university. During career talks, it was never an option that was spoken about especially with girls. The construction industry only ever seemed like an option for males. As I really enjoyed the subject ‘Human Geography’ in school, I found the course ‘Urban Planning and Development’ in Cardiff University. Again, this subject interested me because it is something that I had never really come across. The course seemed quite niche. There wasn’t many of us on the course compared to other courses, and as you can image, it was male heavy - but this didn’t bother me.

During my second and final year of University, I decided to seek out some work experience within the development department of a Housing Association. A lot of my university friends opted for Planning consultancies, and to be honest this made me panic a little bit as I was one of the very few who didn’t go down that route. The best thing I ever done was get work experience of being in a development department of a housing association. I was very early on able to grasp the general process of building affordable housing, and this led to me getting my first full-time job in a housing association.

The sole objective of working as a project manager for a Housing Association is to provide good quality, affordable housing. This makes the job very rewarding when a scheme is complete, and you can see the difference you have made to someone’s life. I love the different aspects that the job role provides. A lot of the work is done in the office, communicating with different consultants and different Local Authorities and Welsh Government. There’s a lot of decision making to do surrounding the site appraisal stage and we work closely with different departments in order to ensure a successful development. I love seeing real progress made as you move through the project. Most weeks I get the chance to go to site and I really enjoy this aspect of the role because I can really test my surveying skills. I work with a great team who are very supportive and amazing at what they do. This makes coming to work such a joy.

Unfortunately, as of December 2021, only 10% of workers in the construction industry were women. I think many women would be hesitant to enter a career in the construction industry mainly due to the fact it is known as being a male- dominated industry. This was not something that bothered me when entering the industry, probably down to the fact that I have played and followed football since I was seven. So unfortunately, I have dealt with stereo-typical views for many years and have learned to have a ‘don’t care’ attitude - although this is not acceptable. Changing attitudes around women joining the industry is very important and this is key for encouraging more women to pursue a career in construction. Many would believe that the ‘construction industry’ is purely just working on a building site, wearing hard hats and site boots daily. However, this is just a misconception. I would say 80% of my job is office based. I would encourage anyone who is interested in the industry to seek out some work experience to get a feel for it.

I think that schools, universities and other educational institutions should promote the construction industry as a career for anyone and everyone. There are many rewards of working in this industry and there is always room for career progression and skill development. Celebrating successful women in construction and showcasing historical women in the industry is a great way to push back against gender stereotypes.

I luckily feel like I haven’t really faced any major obstacles as a woman in the construction industry so far. I back myself that I am where I am through hard work and determination. The only thing I would say that is a personal challenge is self-doubt. It can naturally be quite daunting and intimidating when you are on site with about 20-30 men and you’re the only woman. But I have learned to just be confident, and that I should be proud of myself for standing there as the only woman, and in a few years’ time I hopefully won’t be the only one. The more women the public see in the industry, the more accessible it will be for women and girls joining.

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