BBC Bitesize

What do a crane operator , a power lifter and a grime violinist have in common???

Ok not much but we are all featured in a BBC Bitesize piece for International women day.

BBC Bitesize is a learning resource for school children in England.

Please click and have a read –

Stickers! (I did a thing)

So where did these come from??

A short while ago I attended a fab event at Brookland’s race course with WES and was giving out small ‘Girl’s can’t what?’ stickers with a picture of a engineer, I posted on Instagram and everyone loved it.

I however felt they were missing a site feel and wondered if I could do my own version featuring a crane, I thought it would be great to promote the small amount of women who work in plant and hopefully encourage a few more to give it a try.

So far they have gone down a storm young girls love them and I have recently had a mention on Crane & Hoist Canada about them. https://www.craneandhoistcanada.com/girls-cant-what-london-crane-operator-launches-industry-stickers/

I am looking to get some cheaper multi print page ones done soon that I can take to schools.

If anyone really is interested in grabbing a sticker from me please drop me a message katie@katiecranes.com

London Construction Awards Nominations!

Amazingly while I was away in Poland for a wedding I have been shortlisted for the London Construction Awards, Women in Construction award.

And even more fantastic off the back of this I was also selected for the Employee of the year award!

Very chuffed!

You can see more about the London Construction Awards here – https://www.londonconstructionawards.com/

BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour

So I won’t pretend I knew much about Woman’s hour prior to receiving a phone call about it but did I want to appear on BBC radio with a group of legendary Women in construction…………….. Hell yeah!

When explaining to my Dad that I had been invited to the show he was really happy as when my Nana was alive she always listened to it, I guess this gave me even more of a boost to take part.

It was an bank holiday special dedicated to women in construction and I was privileged to take part with some fabulous women

  • Roma Agrawal MBE– Author of Built and a structural engineer who worked on the Shard.  
  • Cristina Lanz-Azcarate – Chair, London South East NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction).  Also an architect!
  • Hattie Hasan – Plumber and founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers.
  • Sarah Fenton – Partnerships Director Midlands and North, CITB
  • Lynsey Davies – Plasterer from Wales who is now training to be a quantity surveyor

We were all interviewed by Tina Daheley who was fabulous and genuinely really engaged.

With Tina Daheley

It was a brilliant thing to take part in and there was such a positive vibe from everyone – super inspirational! I don’t believe I have been in such a room discussing matters of women working in construction where the main vibe was just positivity , we all spoke about our journeys into the industry, what we would tell people wanting the join the industry and some genuine giggles about things we have overcome.

I truly believe the podcast is worth a listen, it will be uploaded here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007wsf

A sound bite posted on Twitter that didn’t make the final broadcast – https://twitter.com/BBCWomansHour/status/1165937402839478272/video/1

They say never meet your Idols but Roma was just as brilliant in person
Roma, Christina & Me outside broadcasting house

Filming lifting technician apprentices at Battersea, London.

So on Friday we filmed some of our Select Plant Hire Lifting Technician Apprentices on a very windy platform at the Northern Line Extension.

It’s was great to hear of some of our past apprentices experiences of the scheme and a great insight into them personally.

I was one of the first lifting technicians to join via the apprenticeship in October 2014 and it completely changed my life, from recruitment consultant to crane operator.

Since then we have put over 100 apprentices through this amazing apprenticeship, our lifting techs have worked on some of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK!

Impressive! I’m hoping this video will be a great tool to tell others about our apprenticeship.

Only 7% Of Teenagers want to join industry…………..

Hardly surprising news,

”The lack of diversity in the industry is putting young people off from wanting to join the sector, increasing concerns about the problem of labour and skills shortages in the future, the firm said.”

Shocker! I have said it a million times if young people google our industry or go to interviews and never see anyone like them why on hell would they want to work here? If you can’t see someone like you excelling through the industry you can’t envision your own future.

When I went to my first interview it was all men, all the other interviewees were men, all the interviewers were men – if I was younger or this was one of my first interviews I would never have chosen this industry.

And we haven’t even started on the expected hours, modern day sectors are flexible and accommodating for workers – unfortunately the construction industry is yet to catch up, why would someone choose construction? what are our USP’s to the next generation?

We can’t even hold on to the ones that do make it through the wire – the only 0.7% of women working in trades or in plant this number hasn’t changed in 30 years, we are hemorrhaging talent throughout the process for various reasons.

LOR Stories Feature

At work we have a new website LOR Stories that I have just been featured on, the feature was taken back in September.

Editorial –
https://lorstories.global/articles/how-women-in-construction-can-make-their-mark

Pod Cast –
https://lorstories.global/podcasts/podcast-with-katie-kelleher

What is limiting the number of women working on the tools?

So only 0.7% of women working in construction work in a trades capacity and the majority of these women are working in painting and decorating – This number hasn’t changed in 30 years but why is this?

I often puzzle over this as I do many school talks etc and the willing from young people is always there to learn a new skill, then I look at the industry and realise that a lack of career advice, a misconception about working on site and a certain lack of flexibility would probably stop ladies somewhere along the line.

All this was fine and within my understanding however this week I read probably the most shocking but honest thread to do with the mistreatment of ladies working on the tools and it really threw me back.

The things mentioned were not issues I had faced working for a large contractor on well known big projects. I speak a lot about my own experiences on site and as an apprentice but in reality compared to the things I have read, my own experiences are more down to lack of thought and bad planning than any real malice.

The thread itself started with a lady who had spent over 30 years in the industry, started as an electrical apprentice and stated that although she had worked with some great people she had also been sexually assaulted, suffered sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination. She felt let down by hr and currently has not worked for 6 years after suffering a break down due to being bullied for 5 years by her manager!

So I read this absolutely horrified thinking well this is truly terrible but maybe this was a long time ago and things must be much better now.

Following this initial post a lot of other women joined in and I am going to quote some things I read.

“When I had my baby, I sadly had to take a demotion to allow for my child care because the business wouldn’t entertain it in a role I worked really hard to get.”

“I have only been in the industry 5 years and had to report sexual assault, which I took to the police – I no longer work there”

“Once I had an employer ignore my report of a customers inappropriate touching, I am much happier self employed”

“I am a student and it starts in the classroom, I am one of two women on the course and we were instantly segregated, I was stuck with an unpleasant 18 year old who was more into flirting than learning. After months of being ignored and left out of tasks, I lost it and was told I should have spoken up”

“6 Years ago I was sexually harassed, bullied and discriminated so badly it tipped me over the edge, was sent away which made me feel suicidal and then made redundant”

“I’m very upset as we speak, did work experience today and one of my college peers was making me uncomfortable but I can’t feel like I can do anything because he is special needs so doesn’t understand……………….I really don’t know if I should quit while im ahead”

So why has the 0.7% of women working in trades number not changed in 30 years?

Because we are not looking after our women, we are not supporting them throughout their learning or working environments.

We are hemorrhaging great people because we can’t change the culture in which we work, it isn’t that women don’t want to work in trades but allowing behaviors like the ones above to start even at a college level we are setting them up for failure within a broken system.

There are many great positive experiences out there too, but even one incident of any of the above is too many failures!

#NAW2019 #NCW2019 & #IWD2019 Ekkkkkk!

National Apprenticeship Week, National Careers Week and International Women’s day all in one week wow!

What will we do for the rest of the year?

I was short on time and super busy so all I managed to do was a short video about my apprenticeship and how proud I am of being an apprentice, I also took part in one for the Department for Transport.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed all the special days and managed to do something productive for them all.