Holly Fielding on her experience at CMB and the engineering industry.
What attracted you to the industry and how did you go about joining?
Holly: “After completing a BSc degree in 2016 I worked in a H&S role for a manufacturing firm, I then decided that I wanted a new challenge and in 2018 I applied for a role as an Mechanical Estimating Assistant. From here, I was able to develop my experience to become a Mechanical Estimator.”
What have you found most rewarding in your career to date?
Holly: “I have found it rewarding to be involved in a project that is in the early stage development of a tender. This primarily involves visiting site, reviewing drawings/information, communicating with contractors and seeing the job progress through to construction stage. It is surprising how much work is required in the early stages of a project to ensure everything has been accounted for. This has enabled me to gain valuable skills such as learning how to use technical software applications to formulate a tender proposal for submission to clients.”
What have you found most frustrating?
Holly: “Sometimes you have to prioritise your work load as some projects may fall on similar return dates. Organisation skills are key, as folders for tender packs contain a lot of detailed information, that require analysing. This has provided me with the means to be self-disciplined and motivated to ensure that projects are submitted on time for review, and are of consistent quality.”
Have you found being a woman in this industry to be a benefit or a hindrance?
Holly: “Both. The company I work for have been great in providing me with the necessary tools I need to complete my job and have been incredibly supportive in helping me gain valuable skills and experience within the industry. I have come across rare occasions where I feel that my gender has been looked at as a hindrance or an obstacle, however, this just makes me more motivated to gain further experience and knowledge to be confident in my role.”
What advice would you give to any young woman considering a career in building engineering services?
Holly: “Do it for yourself (and don’t be afraid of making mistakes!) Accept that there will be new challenges along the way but look at the bigger picture as it can be incredibly rewarding. Don’t look at gender as being an obstacle in the industry.”
How would you go about encouraging more young women to join the industry?
Holly: “I would suggest gaining practical experience alongside education is important, look at various roles within the industry that you think may be suited to you, and be open to learning new skills along the way. If you have a small interest in the industry, push yourself to gain experience to see if it is a career you’d like to pursue.”
Why do you think initiatives like INWED are important?
Holly: “INWED opens up a channel for women to be able to see that they are capable of doing these types of jobs. Which they typically wouldn’t be inclined, or feel confident enough, to apply for.”
What benefits have you gained from BESA membership and what role do you think the Association should play in promoting women in engineering?
Holly: “BESA is a useful and informative platform to get the latest engineering and construction guidance. I also believe that raising awareness of these jobs being available to women in the industry is key.”
Interview from BESA Group with Holly Fielding.