CASE STUDY: Women into Construction

Annika, Ray and Rachel are shuttering carpenters working for Morrisroe, the company contracted by LendLease to build the concrete frames, on the Elephant and Castle regeneration project.

They have set up a portable workshop on site, and are responsible for making up the shuttering boxes for the concrete molds on all of these new-build residential blocks. Having their own work-shop and area of responsibility has improved the efficiency of the site and is helping everything to run smoothly. Ray pointed out proudly that they are 2 floors ahead in production of shuttering boxes on every block.

Annika, who is experienced in both first and second fix carpentry, was the first female carpenter on this site. She quickly adapted to the demands of shuttering and is an enthusiastic and popular member of the team.

Ray is an experienced second fix carpenter but had not done shuttering work before. She said that the hardest thing with shuttering was learning the names of everything, and found that her skills were completely transferable. She loves shuttering, and wants to continue working in this area.

Rachel has just completed a shuttering carpentry apprenticeship, and was feeling uncertain about her skills moving forward as a fully qualified carpenter. She has had great support from both her supervisor and colleagues on site, and although she feels she is still learning, her confidence and skills have increased hugely.

Ray said – ‘This is the best site I’ve ever worked on, as well as the only site where there are other female carpenters. I feel welcomed and respected as both a woman and a carpenter. There are more women generally on site, and the increased visibility of women has changed the way the guys are with each other, as well as changing the site culture generally for the better.’

Jim Callaghan of Morrisroe said – ‘The women are efficient, well organized, and clean and tidy – they’re putting everyone else to shame. They have a great attitude and get on well with everyone. I’d like to keep them with the company and transfer them to other projects when this one finishes.’

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Rachel, Ray (BCC graduates) and Annika