The construction industry is a predominantly male dominated environment. For some women who work in the sector, their presence can cause a few turned heads.
Joining as an apprentice three years ago, Shelby Sutton has learnt to cope with being the odd one out. The twenty two year old works as a joiner for Confetti Constellations in Colwick and is the only woman in the wokshop.
She has become accustomed to the perceptions of female construction workers though. She states, “I was the only girl at college too so I just got used to it.”
Initially, the decision she made to go into the construction industry was based on a reluctance to go to university. Despite the stigma that went along with it, she successfully found an apprenticeship that appealed to her. Three years later she is now an important asset to the team.
She was no phased by the stigma she would face. Instead she advises that women wishing to pursue this kind of career should “just not be scared and go for it.”
Highlighting the success of women in the field, Shelby has also been nominated for the Nottingham Post Women in Business Awards. Specifically in the women in construction category. Shelby states: “it is a great honour to be nominated for this award and draw attention to the growing wealth of female talent and enthusiasm in the industry.” Ultimately, she hopes that this will begin to change the perceptions of women in construction. She also aspires to display that construction does not have to be preserved as a male dominated sector.
She does admit however that perceptions “won’t happen overnight.”
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