Emma has worked at VolkerRail for 20 years. Starting her journey as a document controller, Emma is now VolkerRail’s head of performance, improvement and strategy, and a valued member of our senior HSQES team.
To help us continually improve our HSQES strategy and our HSQES improvement plans, Emma reports on health, safety, quality, environmental, and social value data – analysing risk profiles, highlighting trends, and reviewing the results to see the bigger picture.
Explain your career history within construction:
My first job in construction was with VolkerRail, and I started in a team of all women, but the management team was male dominated.
However, over the years, this has changed, and more women are taking on senior roles, and joining the senior management team. This is also the case across VolkerWessels UK.
From my personal experience, I feel it is inclusive, but I do also recognise that it isn’t the same for everyone, and there is work to be done to attract more women into construction.
Within my role, I get to see a lot of different initiatives, but the key one being that VolkerRail is a rail industry EDI charter member, meaning the business is committed to adding more diversity to its workforce.
My thoughts and opinions have always been valued, and they’ve never felt any less than important than anybody else’s. To say I have never felt different for being a woman is a massive compliment to VolkerRail.
I often, as part of my role, go to sites and run workshops with site employees and safety representatives, and I have never had a bad experience. I think we all recognise that these types of environments are male dominated, but I have always ‘fit right in’ and there is no differentiation because of my gender.
It’s a testament to the rail industry that women are present in more rail-specific roles, such as machine controllers and plant operators, and I see this more now compared to when I first started.
My first job in construction was with VolkerRail, and I started in a team of all women, but the management team was male dominated. However, over the years, this has changed, and more women are taking on senior roles, and joining the senior management team. This is also the case across VolkerWessels UK.
Yes, definitely. I love working in construction. It’s a myth that construction is just for men, or there is no career progression for women. There’s such variety and diversity, and this industry offers an array of roles. Women shouldn’t be put off seeing the rail industry as somewhere that isn’t where they can be.
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