Breaking down barriers in construction – UKCW role model of the year announced

A female chartered construction anager has been awarded Role Model of the Year 2018 at the UK Construction Week (UKCW) for her efforts in inspiring the next generation.

Arleta Andreasik-Paton, a project manager at Aecom, was presented with her award by Steph McGovern, journalist at BBC Breakfast and Barbara Res, the female engineer behind Trump Tower.

Judged by Nottingham Academy for Girls, the students awarded Arleta for her determination to strive within the construction industry and were entertained by her own inspiration – wanting to build her own house after watching her dad and grandad build an extension.

Commenting on her award, the project manager said: “When Steph started talking and I realised I had won I got quite emotional. It means so much that the students chose me and could identify with my story. I’m not from a construction background, but I moved into the industry with transferrable skills, studied while on the job and here I am now. It’s a privilege to be able to become a role model for other talented young people who can find wonderful careers in construction.”

Mairead Gallagher, BIM coordinator at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and Christina Riley, senior construction planner and an equality, diversity and inclusion champion at Kier Group, were both highly commended. 

The students were also particularly impressed by Avi Contracts’ project surveyor, Anjali Pindoria, for her continued efforts encouraging black, Asian and minority ethnic people into the construction industry.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, added: “Our role models initiative aims to encourage new talent into the industry, and this campaign gave us a fantastic opportunity to work with Nottingham Academy for Girls. We have loved hearing directly from the students about what inspires them.  There can of course only be one winner, but all those shortlisted can be proud of the hard work, dedication and ultimately, the change that they are bringing to the construction industry.”

All the shortlisted role models will now continue to take part in activities with schools and colleges to break down barriers and stereotypes associated with construction.

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