March 6th 2024

Keys to the future – Women in Construction week

Keys to the future – Women in Construction week

As the industry celebrates Women in Construction Week (WiC) and International Women’s Day (8th March), we are keen to acknowledge the valued contribution of the skilled women that are part of the Kirkwood Timber Frame team.

Breaking the long-held stereotype that the industry is male dominated, 30% of our staff are female and work in a wide range of roles from managerial to administrative posts.

Our latest recruit, Barbara Massie, brings over 19 years’ experience to her role as Business Development Director.

She said: “The theme for this year’s WiC is keys to the future - celebrating the strength and knowledge of women and the vital role they play in shaping the future of the construction industry. As a woman in construction, I have always been enthusiastic about promoting the wide and varied roles that are available.

“I was lucky enough to give a presentation recently to children aged 7-8 about the industry and the biggest question from the girls in the class was ‘what jobs could we do in construction?’

“This question took me by surprise, as I know there has been greater effort by the government, developers, and education bodies, to provide more information to young people about the jobs available within the industry. Indeed, in recent years there has been an uptake of females undertaking apprenticeships in bricklaying and trade positions.

“This is why WiC and International Women’s Day are important in raising awareness and profiling females as role models for others to aspire to.

“The timber frame industry is evolving. The Government Road Map has outlined its vision to increase the use of timber in construction and to push for Net Zero and we all need to think differently and embrace change. This is - and will continue to open doors - for passionate individuals to learn, contribute and be part of the future - both women and men alike.

“I have been fortunate enough to work in various divisions and roles throughout my career, where I developed, learnt my craft, and built my knowledge. Fully understanding the customers world and how to partner with them to achieve improved performance is still my over riding ethos and by working hard and being determined and passionate, I’ve been able to deliver.

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging at times. I was doubted as a young female making my way in the industry, however there was nothing more satisfying than delivering for the client and building my own credentials.

“My advice to other young women starting their own career in the industry: Embrace it, always be your true authentic self, be resilient, work hard to learn your craft. Find a workplace with a positive ethos and culture that will support your success and learning and embraces change and inclusion. I was fortunate to work with a strong female leader and finding a good mentor like this, will really help you too.

“I’ve enjoyed a rewarding and challenging career, and I am still thrilled to come to work because of the prospects and new challenges each day brings. If you can find a role that brings out this kind of passion, then its right for you regardless of your gender.

“Most importantly, champion the other women and men around you. Each person has their own unique abilities and skills and can bring something different to the table.”

For more information about WiC visit:

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