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Silpy Sreekumar: ‘Welcoming Mercury has changed my perception of construction industry’
Author: Cormac Byrne  /  11th Mar, 2022  /  News, Responsible Business

The latest interview in our Women in Construction series focuses on Silpy Sreekumar, who joined Mercury’s graduate programme in 2021.

Silpy is currently based on the National Children’s Hospital project in Dublin, Ireland, where she works as a graduate electrical engineer.

Our Women in Construction series highlights the achievements of Mercury’s dynamic female employees and their allies. At Mercury, we believe that we can all play a part in inspiring the next generation to become part of an exciting future for construction that places females and equality to the forefront.

Our recruitment team will be in attendance at NUI Galway’s Women in STEM Career’s Fair on Saturday March 12th, from 2-5pm. Join us there to learn about the fantastic range of career opportunities for females at Mercury.

You can read Silpy’s full story below.

What are the challenges of being a woman in Construction?

“There are a number of challenges that women face in the construction sector, but not all of them are the same. Women in many construction companies are often only given a chance in admin or office-based jobs, but I believe that women can carry out any role asked of them. Often companies and managers do not provide women with the opportunity to upskill.”

How do we attract more female candidates into the Construction industy.

“By including more females in the recruitment and onboarding process we can ensure more female candidates that diversity and inclusion is being taken seriously. It is important to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of women in this profession, as well as ensuring all that hard work and success is equally rewarded.”

What has been your biggest career milestone to date?

“With this being my first job in the construction sector, I would consider it a career milestone to be working on Ireland’s prestigious New Children’s Hospital project at such an early stage in my career. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with sub-contractors, electricians and designers from a range of different companies.”

What advice you have for women who want to pursue a career in the Construction Industry?

“I would advise anyone interested in pursuing a career in the construction sector to seize the opportunity. I never saw myself working in the construction industry, and I was hesitant to accept this position at first, but I am sure that I have made the correct decision and I am grateful to be here. Outsiders may consider this to be a male dominated profession where women cannot succeed, but this is a misconception.”

What is the most surprising aspect of working in construction as a women?

“I had no real desire to work on site, my perceptions of the industry were very different before I joined Mercury. I was terrified to join such a male-dominated industry. Since day one, all of my management have been warmly welcoming and have provided me with high levels of support and respect. I have observed no gender gap or unconscious bias. All of our people are respectful to one another, and I think Mercury is doing an excellent job of encouraging women to work in the construction industry.”

What do you think is the most important change happening in the construction industry?

“The construction industry is undergoing significant changes. Contractors are heading in the right direction. They value diversity and inclusion, equal opportunities, and a workplace that is welcoming to people of all genders. There is no doubt that this industry has been traditionally considered as male dominated, but it is a time to change that perception and extend this reality to more women who are ready to enter this field.”

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2022 AT MERCURY

As part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, we have renewed our ‘Women in Construction’ series which focuses on interviews with Mercury’s female employees and their allies. You can read the first two articles which feature Amy Doyle, EHS advisor, and Carmen Marco Cosgaya, Junior Project Manager by clicking on the relevant link.

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