Women in the Built Environment 2017 event is the biggest ever

The 2017 event welcomed more students and industry employers than ever before

Alumna Sara Harraway, Director of CPMG
Camera icon
Alumna Sara Harraway, Director of CPMG, talks about her career

On Thursday 9 November, the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment welcomed just over 100 female delegates to the annual Women in the Built Environment (WiBE) event, the largest in its five year history.

The event was organised and coordinated by the NTU Employability Team for female students across the subject areas of Property, Construction, Architecture and Civil Engineering, and opened by senior lecturer Victoria Goodliffe. Invaluable industry input and advice was provided by 30 professional female delegates, many of them NTU alumni, working in a range of positions traditionally dominated by male employees.

Victoria Goodliffe of NTU
Camera icon
Victoria Goodliffe of NTU opens the event

Starting proceedings in front of a full lecture theatre, Victoria Goodliffe said “This is a great industry to work in; there are lots of challenges along the way, but the opportunities for women are fantastic. The event recognises all of this and is a great way to make connections and share experiences for your future careers.”

75 female students from the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, as well a number of pre-entry sixth form students, were given an inspiring set of short presentations by female alumni at various stages in their careers from national companies AECOM (Nathali Lekam), Winvic (Olivia Radford), EE (Lisa Watson) and CPMG Architects (Sara Harraway).

Olivia Radford of Winvic
Camera icon
Olivia Radford of Winvic talks about her quantity surveyor role

Nathali Lekam, now an aviation engineer for AECOM after graduating from BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering in 2014, said, “I had to push boundaries but I’ve learned loads by asking a lot of questions…don’t be afraid to ask and get involved.”

Olivia Radford, an assistant quantity surveyor at Winvic, completed MSc Quantity Surveying at NTU in 2016. “I started out in banking and didn’t know what a quantity surveyor did until I was 23! When I learned more about what was involved, I decided to change career path; I loved the course. Working at Winvic has enabled me to quickly find the confidence to voice my professional opinions; I get involved in the whole process of seeing jobs through, which is very rewarding. My advice is to take every opportunity, be as confident as you can, but don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Breakout sessions with students and delegates
Camera icon
Breakout sessions led by industry delegates

Lisa Watson, Head of Retail Property for EE, advised students to “work with the experts around you, take feedback and go for it…it’s important to go for a job you’re passionate about. This industry has opened my eyes to a whole world of opportunity.”

Sara Harraway, a graduate of BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design in 1992, and now a director at architect company CPMG, emphasised the need to be flexible and resilient, as well as the importance of self-belief.

Speaking of their experience on summer internships with construction company Gleeds, current second year students Isabella Platts and Katie Grant outlined the project work they had been involved with in London and Nottingham during their first year, summarising how much they had gained from the experiences, and the importance of getting fully involved. “Be an absolute keeno! It really helps!” said Katie.

This all set the scene for a series of informal break-out discussion sessions, each of which was led by a number of the attending industry representatives who gave insight and pointers on career options, challenges and progression.  The networking and follow up opportunities were numerous, with several of the companies feeding back how useful the event had been, and registering their commitment to being part of similar future events.

Reflecting on the whole event, Victoria Goodliffe said “We had a record number of students attend the Women in the Built Environment Event this year.  It was a huge success with some terrific feedback.  The evening provided a dynamic and inspiring forum for our female students to network and learn from our amazing women in industry supporters.”

For all further information about the event, as well as career and internship opportunities for women in the areas within the study of the built environment, please contact Donna Carr in the NTU employability office.

Women in the Built Environment 2017 event is the biggest ever

Published on 20 November 2017
  • Subject area: Property, construction and surveying
  • Category: Culture; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418