28th February 2024

Inspiring Women in Construction: School 21 Real World Learning Programme

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In a bid to break gender stereotypes and inspire young women to venture into the construction industry, Axis partnered with neighbouring school, School 21 to participate in their Real World Learning Programme.

School 21 is a pioneering school in Newham, with a mission to prepare students for success in the twenty-first century. The innovative programme is the schools take on work experience and brings students and the professional world together in a meaningful way.

Over the course of four weeks, six year 10 girls joined our Head Office in Stratford on a Tuesday afternoon. The programme was delivered exclusively by Axis’ women in construction team, bringing forth new perspectives and learning opportunities, showcasing the various opportunities available within the construction sector.

Programme timetable:

Session Content Supported by
1 Overview of Axis, women in construction group, and job roles in industry activity Kellie Turner & Vera O’Driscoll
2 Career journeys from all, overview of R&M, and gas safety activity Raechel Goddard, Hayleigh Dawson, Sam Paynter & Linda Daniels
3 Career journeys from all, overview of Projects, estimating activity, and profit margin activity Francesca Fordham, Fiona O’Shea, Emily Skipp, Cindy Nguyen, Abigail Darkwa-Marfo
4 Career journeys from NB and ST, apprenticeship overview, and live DIY demonstrations Kellie Turner, Vera O’Driscoll, Nicola Barcoe, Sarah Taylor, Michelle Workman & David Leonard

At the end of the programme, we reflected and found that all the students’ mindsets had changed in terms of roles available to them in the industry. When asked what surprised them the most, their responses were telling:

“What I have learnt through this programme is there are lots of different pieces to the puzzle and current stereotypes about the industry aren’t going to be present in the future. If you are a female and interested in construction, you would be able to fit in and be comfortable”.

“Prior to coming here my only understanding of construction was building. The programme has helped me understand the industry in great depth”.

“What surprised me most was all the things employees did before working at Axis. Some were very different which showed that even if you start a job in one industry, you can always change your career pathway in the future”.

Vera O’Driscoll, Community Investment Coordinator managed the programme and commented, “The School 21’s Real World Learning Programme was something that we haven’t ever done before. The students gained an understanding of the various career paths that our Women in Construction team have and the skills they might need in the future to work within the industry. We were pleased with the outcome, definitely a step in the right direction to inspiring young women to pursue a career in the industry. Thank you to everyone who was involved in the success of this programme!”

By championing initiatives that foster inclusivity and diversity within traditionally male-dominated sectors, we can play a pivotal role in nurturing the next generation of female leaders into construction.

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