Position: Operations Manager, Fire Protection
Time with the Company: 12 Years
Tell us a bit about yourself & what led you to your current role?
I was always interested in the engineering and science subjects in school and studied technical drawing for the last 5 years of school. This love of draughting led me to a FÁS run structural draughting course after I left. During my work place experience, I was placed with a sprinkler company. After the 3-week placement I was offered a full-time job as a CAD technician. Over the years I did various training courses on Sprinkler Design and of course gained on the job experience and completed all of my Design Competency exams with LPC, the governing body for Sprinkler Systems covering Ireland and the UK). Since joining Mercury in 2007 as a senior design engineer I worked my way up to the role of project manager and progressed to my current role as Operations Manager.
What’s an average day like for an Operations Manager with Mercury’s Fire Protection BU?
There is no such thing as an “average day” in the role as operations manager and this is what makes the role both challenging and enjoyable. I have worked on projects in retail, health care, pharmaceutical, infrastructure, oil and gas, semiconductor and manufacturing facilities. Working on these projects led to working in new territories which was a learning curve as we got to grasp and master the approval processes and construction cultures for each country.
What advice would you have to women who want to take part in a trade or join the construction industry?
Don’t be afraid to take on the challenge. The construction world can be tough going but it is a very rewarding career. Put yourself forward for opportunities, keep yourself well versed on what is happening in the industry, step out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to travel and offer up your opinion. There are support networks for women in construction so take advantage of the knowledge to be gained from them and your colleagues.
What’s the most surprising part of being a woman working in Construction?
Since I joined the industry over 20 years ago it has been great to see the attitude to women in construction changing. When I first started there was a scepticism towards women in construction and your opinion was not always taken seriously by everyone. This attitude has now become a rarity and the industry is getting to see how having a diverse team on your project can only benefit the end result.
What is your favourite part of your career so far?
Working as part of a team to successfully deliver projects to our clients and to see these clients coming back to Mercury again and again based on the working relationships we have built. Mercury has great opportunities to further your career and through this I completed the Ingenium Future Leaders course last year, which has been of great benefit.
What has been the most challenging part of your career to date?
Recruiting over the last couple of years has been a major challenge across the industry as we try to encourage skilled people to return to the home market as the construction industry is growing to levels we have never seen before. This massive growth has been one of the biggest challenges facing our industry that I have seen in my career.