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Shannon Rock (nee Barrett)

Building Services Engineer, Walls Construction

Hafsa Alghazi

Graduate Site Engineer (Civil Engineering, TU Dublin), Walls Construction

Ivana Sosic

Site Engineer, Walls Construction

As the Irish economy thrives, STEM job demand rises. Boosting the presence of women in construction is crucial for promoting Diversity, driving innovation, and ensuring inclusive growth within the industry.

Three female engineers working with Walls Construction share how they were attracted to careers in construction and STEM.

Building a network of allies in construction

Hafsa Alghazi, Graduate Site Engineer (Civil Engineering, TU Dublin) discusses how she found herself surrounded by people in school who doubted her ability to succeed in engineering: “This motivated me to prove that I am capable of getting to where I am now. I would advise girls: ‘Seek work experience in college to increase your knowledge and confidence — don’t be afraid to ask questions.’

“A supportive education system and company culture can create a sense of belonging and inclusion. Now, my mentors, including my Senior Engineer and Contracts Manager, have helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses and also to build a network of like-minded, positive people.”

Combing passions for engineering

Shannon Rock (nee Barrett), Building Services Engineer at Walls, shares a similar experience on her career journey:I’ve always been interested in maths and art and wanted to find a way to combine them; engineering was the answer. I attended an all-girls school, which didn’t offer engineering as a subject, so when I suggested a career in mechanical engineering, there was a lack of support from my teachers.Looking back, I’d tell my younger self to not doubt her abilities.”

Making STEM accessible and approachable

Ivana Sosic, Site Engineer at Walls, realised her passion for STEM at a young age: “My first inclination that I would want a career in STEM happened at eight or nine years old. Coming from a traditional background with mostly stereotypical roles for women, my career choice raised a lot of eyebrows.”

She adds: “As a Site Engineer, I consider myself lucky to be working with so many different people with tremendous knowledge, people skills, work ethic and patience. Good company culture understands treating employees as individuals, and if we are to get younger generations of women to pursue STEM careers, we can’t allow fun to be removed from the equation — your career should be all about curiosity, imagination and ideas.

Making women more visible in STEM communities

Alghazi, Rock and Sosic all agree that young people need to hear more from STEM professionals about their journeys. Algazhi concludes: “Mentors can achieve this by being more accessible and approachable, visible in their communities, speaking at schools and events and sharing their stories.”

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