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NTU hosts successful virtual event celebrating Women in the Built Environment

This November, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) students were given the opportunity to learn and engage with influential females in the industry at the eighth annual Women in the Built Environment (WIBE) event.

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering student Millie Dixey
NTU holds its eighth event celebrating women in the built environment. Pictured: Millie Dixey, BEng Civil Engineering

Over 40 students on courses in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment (ADBE) attended the event, which was held virtually this year for the first time due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The University welcomed six key-note speakers at various stages of their careers to share their advice and experiences with NTU students. These included Sharon Slinger, Company Director of Constructing Rainbows Ltd and Co-director of the STEER support and mentoring group, Louise Caller, Senior Design Manager at Morgan Sindall, Ruth Ofield, Partner at Fisher German, and Etienne Hodge, Graduate Site Engineer at Galliford Try.

NTU MSc Project Management graduate Etienne Hodge spoke about her experiences that led her to secure her current role.

She said: “I wanted to share my journey with the students and tell them about the extra-curricula activities that are out there which could help them enter the construction industry – despite their levels of experience.”

“I wanted them to relate to me as I personally understand that although you may not get your dream job straight away, there is definitely a place for you if you keep trying.”

As someone who is in the early stages of their career, Etienne felt inspired by the other speakers at the event.

“Sometimes it’s hard to see yourself in a highly respected senior position in the future when there isn’t anybody currently that looks like you in those positions.”

“Meeting those senior women in the industry filled me with a sense of admiration and appreciation, as their achievements and resilience has paved the way for graduates like me to also achieve great things.”

The 2020 event was based upon the themes of Resilience in the Workplace, Diversity and Inclusion and Imposter Syndrome and Self Confidence.

After presentations from the speakers and a live Q&A, the students were divided into smaller break-out sessions, to discuss the themes in more detail.

Second year Level 6 Chartered Surveyor (Quantity Surveyor Pathway) Degree Apprenticeship student Jessica Peet attended the event this year for the first time.

She said: “I thought the event was excellent and the speakers gave a fantastic insight into their backgrounds and how they have got to where they are today. The event highlighted areas for me that I can bring into my working life and allowed me to understand and appreciate that women should be treated no differently, just because of our gender!”

She continued “I attended the Imposter Syndrome and Self Confidence breakout room which I found extremely useful and interesting to hear other people's views on this topic. I think it worked really well virtually, we had no issues with connection, and it was an all-round inspirational and powerful session.”

NTU students can find out about upcoming events and initiatives at Employability Online. If you're an employer and would like to get in touch with our team about upcoming opportunities, please email our Employability Team at

Published on 4 December 2020
  • Subject area: Architecture and civil engineering
  • Category: Alumni; Current students; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment