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Atkins: Senior women in the construction industry

Category: Industry News, Women, Manufacturing and Engineering, Professional Services, construction

Atkins: Senior women in the construction industry

Kathleen McGrail shares her insightful vision and ambitions for more senior women in the construction industry. 

A new chairperson has been named to take on the next exciting phase of development for the Middle East Women’s Business Network (WBN) – an internal group set up by Atkins and Faithful+Gould to drive positive action on gender diversity.

Kathleen McGrail, programme director for Advisory Services in Atkins, shared her insightful vision and ambitions for more senior women in the construction industry through this video interview with Guy Arguin, Atkins’ regional HR director.

The WBN was established 18 months ago and made great strides under outgoing chair Lesley Desport (the leadership of the WBN is rotated every 12-18 months). Several initiatives have taken place so far, including regular networking events; coaching and mentoring; and collaboration with other women’s business and networking groups.

The WBN has also worked hard to share its progress and lessons learned across the wider business community through conference participation and media engagement, such as this video which was shared via social media on International Women’s Day.

Kathleen takes over the WBN role with plenty of enthusiasm which promises to inspire many. Her appointment is testament to Atkins strong support to create a better gender balance and empowerment of women.

Kathleen trained as a civil engineer and then changed her career direction by completing an MBA. She has been in the civil engineering and consultancy field for more than 20 years. With a strong determination to reach a senior level while dealing with the challenge of work-life balance, she has proven her leadership skills in change and programme management on complex transformational programmes across multiple industry sectors.

Kathleen commented on her appointment saying: “I am very excited about this opportunity to make a difference and follow in the footsteps of Lesley Desport, who truly led by example in her previous role as chair and motivated many to strive for excellence.

“My emphasis for the next phase of the WBN is about turning the great energy, hope and expectations of women in the business into concrete action.  One of the focus areas will be to boost flexible working, maternity policies and the retention of talented women. I also wish to see more women achieving senior roles in this male dominated industry whilst continuing the focus on mentoring and coaching for the women in our business.”

Atkins recently initiated a ‘Tell younger me’ campaign on International Women’s Day buzzing social media networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn with inspiring and motivational messages providing an opportunity for women and men to share what they’d say to their younger self.  In other words, what has their career and life experience taught them which they wish they’d known when they were a child or teenager? Read more about it here.

Are you interested in a career with Atkins? Please click here!

VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email info@vercida.com for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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