Women in Construction Week – An Interview with Rebecca Marney

Women in Construction Week is dedicated to highlighting the significant roles and contribution of women in the industry. This year’s theme, ‘Keys to the Future,’ celebrates the strength, knowledge, and vital role women play in shaping the industry’s future.

In line with this celebration, we took some time out to speak to experienced Quantity Surveyor Rebecca Marney to find out about her journey into Construction Consultancy and ask her what advice she would give to other women considering a career in the construction industry.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to pursue a career in Quantity Surveying?

My Dad is a bricklayer by trade, so I feel a career in construction was always inevitable for me. I started off as an Administrator for a construction firm after the first year of a Graphic Design course at university, and then worked my way up to Bid Manager. One day my Managing Director told me he thought I was wasted in my role and suggested I go back to university to become a QS. I enrolled in a distance learning course later that year and never looked back.

What does an average day as a Quantity Surveyor look like?

The role of a QS varies from day to day and is carried out in the office / remotely and on site. One day you could be preparing a cost estimate for a client and the next you could be on site carrying out a valuation, no two days are the same.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the diversity of my job and working on a variety of different projects, being involved from inception to completion. I also like meeting and working with new people, building strong relationships, and working collaboratively is a key part of what we do.

Aside from qualifications, what skills do you think are important for a career in Quantity Surveying?

Having the ability to multitask is important. It’s also helpful to be a good listener and confident communicator, in a QS role you are often part of a larger project team.  Also, the ability to think analytically helps with problem-solving and decision making.

What do you think is the biggest challenge of being a woman in the construction Industry?

It goes without saying, the construction industry is male dominated which can be daunting for some women, however the majority of men I have worked with over the past 15 years have all been welcoming and lovely.

How do you think the construction industry can attract more female candidates?

When I was in high school, I assumed a career in construction meant being a builder, electrician, plumber etc but it’s such a diverse industry and there are so many roles available. More women could be attracted to the industry if they were aware of what job opportunities are out there.  I think giving more information to younger women by holding talks in schools & colleges would be useful.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering the industry, especially in a role like Quantity Surveying?

Learn as much as you can from everyone around you and don’t be afraid to ask questions as that’s how you learn. Get out on site as much as possible and learn the technical side to construction as this is crucial. Have the confidence to share ideas with your team and advocate for yourself always.

MEA are committed to fostering an inclusive environment, attracting, and retaining female talent while inspiring the next generation of women to pursue rewarding careers in this dynamic industry.  If you would like to consider a career with MEA, please send your CV to southeast@meaconsult.co.uk

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