Designing better mental healthcare facilities

Celebrating the positive experiences of women in construction

Modern Methods of Construction specialist, MTX, says it is celebrating Women in Construction Week and International Women’s Day by focusing on the positive experiences of women within its workforce.

The Wilmslow-based company, which works primarily in the healthcare sector, where it uses MMC and Design for Manufacture and Assembly principles to, as it puts it, ‘deliver projects faster, greener, and more cost-effectively’, says the percentage of women within its workforce has more than doubled over the past four years – from 9% in 2018 to 19% in 2023.  The ONS reports that the proportion of women in the UK construction workforce is just 14%. 

MTX has also signed up to the Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering Pledge launched by Construction News and New Civil Engineer, creating a voluntary code of practice that companies adopt to signal their support for women in the industry, and a commitment to drive change and support initiatives to create a more inclusive construction sector.

Managing director, David Hartley explained: “We currently employ more than 60 people, and continue to expand the business, but can’t grow if we can’t recruit good people, and we are actively encouraging more women to join our workforce. The feedback from our employees is that we are ahead of the game in creating and maintaining a good working environment for women, and we strive to maintain a level playing field in terms of advancement opportunities.

“It is tough to recruit and retain good people within the construction sector, and our emphasis is on having the very best workforce to deliver our projects to the highest standard for the UK healthcare sector. Going forward that definitely means employing more women.”

Shannon Massey joined the company in 2022 as a Pre-construction Project manager, but has worked in pre-con since 2018. She explained: “Being a woman in the construction industry does come with its hurdles, but over the last five years I have seen a noticeable shift; there’s certainly an increase in the number of women on site, which is very encouraging to see.

“In my short time at MTX I feel incredibly respected in my position, and my gender certainly hasn’t stood in the way of expanding my knowledge. I have a real willingness to learn, and can’t wait to progress. The construction industry needs to be open-minded to women and the value they can bring. With diversity comes new ways of working, and thinking and that’s pivotal to progression in the industry.”

Rachel Jackson, meanwhile, is a Pre-construction Commercial manager at MTX, who joined the company last year as a Senior quantity surveyor, after over 20 years working in the construction sector, gaining a Main Contracting QS degree, a Masters in Construction Law, and studying Commercial Management QS. She said: “I have seen huge changes in the industry as more women have joined, and they have become a much more common sight on construction sites, whereas when I joined they were a rarity, and usually confined to office duties.

“A  lot of people outside the construction sector don’t recognise the amount of white collar work involved in construction. They think it is all about the trades, but increasingly women are taking on planning design, project management, and finance roles. I love the job, and when I was working in that office years ago saw what other people were doing, decided that was the job I wanted, and worked hard to get there.” 

Samantha (Sam) Makohliso is a graduate quantity surveyor at MTX, and recently celebrated completing her first year at the company. She completed a degree in childhood studies, intending to work with children, but had a friend who was a Project manager in construction, and got interested in a career in the sector. Switching careers, she completed a quantity surveying Masters, and got her first job in construction at MTX – where her role involves assisting and supporting her mentor QS, and working on areas including valuations, costs, and cash-flow. She spends roughly half her time on site. She said: “The team at MTX has been very supportive, and I am very comfortable working in the construction sector, and excited by the career opportunities.“


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