Equal Measures – An insight into a career in construction from a woman’s point of view
Glorence Makharinge is a site engineer with Marlet Property Group in Dublin. She has worked in the construction industry for three years.
Two months after completing a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) in Civil Engineering in Malaysia I joined Royal HaskoningDHV, a multi-disciplinary engineering consulting firm.
Working as part of the pavement engineering team, my biggest project was providing technical support and programme management to the National Department of Transport.
Funds were distributed to South African provinces and municipalities to collect road condition data, develop road asset management systems and carry out maintenance.
My role was to review and analyse the road data and systems in line with technical standards and conduct workshops to maximise value for money. I am not yet where I aspire to be.
Before studying Civil Engineering, I had a clear idea of what I wanted – to design and construct infrastructures.
As an engineer, I suffered from imposter syndrome and doubted myself and my capabilities – there were moments of confusion. But I’m here today because I did not give up and I continue to push the boundaries.
I love construction, witnessing residential or commercial plans from design stages all the way through to a finished product – a physical building that advances peoples livelihoods is remarkable.
Making a contribution in this regard brings me joy and I’m hungry to know more and to better contribute to the team. The best advice I’ve been given is to ‘work hard’ – a principle I learnt from my parents.
When you work hard, you give it your best and go beyond the call of duty, it’s about being passionate. But working hard doesn’t mean you do not work smarter or that you forget about work-life balance.
The construction industry is wide-ranging with countless opportunities. Yes, it’s male dominated but do not let that stop you.
The most surprising thing I’ve heard as a woman working in construction … I have been called ‘boss lady’ by the site team.
Biggest myth about women working in construction? That you will be treated differently because you are a women – that happens very few times.
One time, an excavator operator took a picture of me and a female archaeologist and said he wanted to show his family that women work in construction.
My experience has been positive. My proudest moment to date was when the project manager on my project resigned a few months ago and I took on site and project management duties from planning to execution.
It’s been exciting and challenging. Our workplace at Marlet is diverse and inclusive, there’s an open dialogue with the executive team, which exists to support and address any challenges we raise.
As a non-EEA I have received support for visa sponsorship as well. Mentorship by experienced women in the industry would be a welcome change in the industry.
We need more women to shine a light so we may see the path ahead. Not only for networking purposes but for inspiration and the development of young engineers.