To mark International Women’s Day, City Building worker Amy Kenna has reflected on her time in the construction industry and share her experience in a traditionally male-dominated field.
Amy (27) joined the business as an adult admin apprentice in 2013 after learning about the Modern Apprenticeship when she left school. She has since progressed to a trainee operations manager, a role which requires her to oversee projects from start to finish, encompassing budget, resource planning, and health and safety.
Amy said, “I have a lot of trades in my family, so I always had an interest in the sector. I was a bit of a tomboy and remember wanting to help my dad out with things he was doing around the house. It was actually my dad who recommended City Building because he knew how good the firm was and the opportunities which were there for workers, and he wanted that for me.
“Often times, when people think of construction workers, they picture men. At City Building, however, there were lots of women in senior management roles who inspired me to be where I am today. While I had clerical experience, it was construction which interested me, so I started asking myself ‘how can I do that?’. Then I asked my manager.
“He was really encouraging and advised that I should do training. I went to college and studied at night one night a week for about two years, and now have two HNCs. It was a sacrifice, but it was important for my career, and I loved every minute. I would recommend it to anybody, especially if you have the support from your employer like I did.
“Moving from the admin side of the business to the construction side was definitely daunting at first, since I had to catch up on a lot of technical knowledge, but I brought my organisation and planning skills to the table. I think this is an important reason to have a variety of people within a business – we all have different skills. I think the hard thing for women is that often we can be perfectionistic, but it comes in handy sometimes!
“City Building creates an ethos where managers are supportive of career development and progression, and I am a product of that. I have a lot of responsibility within the business and my confidence has grown because of it. In years to come, I hope to qualify as a manager, and be a good one. I would also love to be part of more construction projects within Glasgow, civic projects which you can be proud to deliver for the city.
“I hope one day I can be one of those female senior leaders that inspires others to break from tradition and pursue opportunities that are right for them. To other women considering a career in construction, I would say that regardless of your background, you can be successful. Take all the education and training opportunities that come your way and you will make your own success.”