In recognition of International Women’s Day, we asked colleagues across the business to share their experiences and viewpoints on life in construction. What inspired them to join the industry? How have they found their time as part of it? What legacy do they hope to leave?

You can read what they had to share below:

MM - CEng MICE Engineering Manager

I joined the construction industry by chance just over ten years ago, and I have never looked back.

Like most women I’ve met on this journey, I’ve had to face challenging situations, however the balance has been nothing but positive. I’m proud of the milestones I’ve achieved, and overall, my career to date has been extremely fulfilling.

While everyone’s experience is different and to be respected, I believe that rather than focusing on the bad days, we must show younger women the opportunities that construction can offer, and the amazing things they will learn and live. There are still many challenges to overcome, but fortunately, steps in the right direction are being taken to make our industry more inclusive.

I would encourage everyone to take part in STEM activities, not just because they are one of the most rewarding parts of this job, but also a perfect way to create the spark to inspire our future ladies in orange… or any other colour they choose. Representation matters!


SS - ATV/Digger Driver

I went to Australia for just under two years and I started out over there with traffic control and then I got into HR driving and dumpers as well, and I did that for about a year and a half. Over there it is more common for girls. I just took a chance to pursue it and now I am very happy I did.

A lot of people wonder what it is like to work with a big majority of men and honestly nobody has ever made me feel any different. We have a great team, and we all look out for each other. You just become one of them.

When I came back, I got my roller ticket, my site dumper and I got the artic dumper and the safe pass and manual handling and all that. I was always looking at the diggers but didn’t think I would be able; I always thought the digger would be a lot harder, but I got a chance through Murphy.

The main person on site here has been so good that way, he’s given me opportunities to train and sent me for my digger ticket and I got that just a couple of weeks ago now. I’ve always wanted it, but it made that difference to get that support and that push to do it.

I work mostly with the men in the diggers and I learn lots from them, you just know that a lot of them could do this work in their sleep.

To me its so normal, it’s what I do. Even when I am out its one of the first things people will ask ‘Oh, what do you do?’ and I just think ‘oh god, I don’t even want to say!’ because I know I’m going to have to get into it again, always people are surprised.

Down the line there will be loads of women doing what I do, and it will be great. These kinds of jobs aren’t spoken enough about to girls in school. I’m sure there are people in schools right now who were the same as me and this could be their way to go, but they probably don’t even know it themselves because you are not even allowed to think that.­

TH - Project Manager

To truly inspire inclusion within the construction industry we must actively support and encourage women into leadership roles where they can effect real change. My own journey has been paved with challenges and I’ve had to continuously push against the grain, confronting the unconscious biases that can permeate in a traditionally male-dominated space. It was not until recently that I had the opportunity to discuss these challenges with a more senior female colleague and the advice imparted in even our briefest exchanges have been invaluable, especially in harmonising my professional aspirations with the demands of raising three very small children. It is clear proof that having female representation at every level of our industry doesn’t just inspire – it empowers. Representation matters, as it is the beacon that guides the next generation to what is possible. Within my role as Project Manager, I am now more conscious of creating an environment where women’s voices are heard and their contributions recognised, because each woman who rises through the ranks in construction redefines our industry’s identity and creates a legacy of inclusion and equality. Happy International Women’s’ Day.

EH - CertAPAT Senior Accounts Payable Specialist

I joined Murphy Plant in 2019, as a contingency worker before becoming permanent in 2020. Since then, I have been fortunate to have been the first, and still the only, member of the Accounts Payable team not based in the Finance Shared Service Centre. I have subsequently been promoted to a senior role based in the Ollerton office. This has assisted in opening the channels of communication and allows me to work alongside the Plant and Hire Desk team. I am also lucky to share an office with the Ground Engineering team and am educated on how piling has moved on over the years – every day is a school day! I enjoy working from Ollerton, as well as the people I love the plant! From when I worked previous in plant and construction, attitudes and acceptance has changed for the better and I feel there are little to no limits for women in the industry now, we just have to take the chances when they come. 


SS - Section Engineer GMICE BSc (HONS) in Civil Engineering & MEng in Geotechnics

I was always very curious about how infrastructures are built and knew that the Engineering route was the right path for me. It is very satisfying to see the results of my input. I hope young women will see me as an example that this industry is suitable for them and women can do very well in construction. I worked as a designer for three years in Portugal (my country) and then I started working on-site in England. For me, it was the right change because, in my opinion, we learn more on site.


SW - Engineering Lead – Group

At school I had never heard of the role Civil Engineer, and had no understanding of the construction industry. But when I started as an Assistant Engineer, it opened so many doors. I’m a very practical person, I enjoy seeing how things are built and asking questions. This role is both challenging and rewarding and, being involved in such an innovative industry, the future is very exciting.

I am very interested in how we can attract the next generation; how do we sell the fantastic opportunities that this role gives you? I have just started a PhD on attracting girls into Civil Engineering, looking at how we change the language and why girls don’t pick STEM subjects. This also involves exploring what a Civil Engineer is and what characteristics they need.

You get to work with individuals who are experts in their field and have the opportunity to ask questions and learn. Every job has it challenges and rewards - but the reward of this job is the legacy that I get to leave when I’ve finished my career. How many people can say that they built a hospital, built a bridge that has saved lives by preventing accidents and worked on protecting towns against flooding? This industry is ever changing and becoming more innovative every day - soon we will be working with robots and driverless site vehicles, what could be more exciting?


JS - Senior Project Manager

“During my career in the construction industry, I have been really fortunate to get the opportunity to work all over the UK on some amazing projects. I love the challenges that my job brings and the great teams I work with.

I get an immense sense of pride when I talk about my job to others and love being able to show my children some of the schemes I’ve worked on.”