Change perceptions to encourage more women to take up careers in construction

Lindsay Richards, head of the School of Architecture, Built and Natural Environment at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), is determined to change perceptions to encourage more women to take up careers in construction.

Lindsay has already enjoyed a 35-year career, working in a variety of construction centres and wants to use her training and education skills to help drive greater equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the industry.

The School of Architecture, Built and Natural Environment sits within the faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering and also benefits from being part of the inter-disciplinary STEM-based faculty.

Lindsay said: “As a chartered quantity surveyor, I have worked in contracting organisations, design and build, local authorities, housing associations, consultancies and in my own surveying and engineering practice in Swansea.

“For most of this time, I have always been involved in training and education. Whether as the South Wales examination officer for the RICS, part-time lecturing, or as a senior lecturer at the University of Glamorgan. I have a passion for construction, it’s in my blood. My father was a bricklayer and stone mason and actually rebuilt the rose window in St Mary’s Church, which was damaged during the World War II bombings in Swansea.”

Lindsay said that when she qualified in the 1980s, there were only 2% of females studying quantity surveying in the UK: “Disappointingly, the number has not risen significantly. At the present time under 10% of females represent the construction Industry. It is a focus of mine to try and increase that statistic.

“The construction industry is dynamic, exciting and rewarding and incredibly addictive. There aren’t many industries that can offer the diversity of the construction industry, with the range of professions and roles offered.”

Lindsay said her vision is to make UWTSD the number one provider of construction courses in Wales.

“We have a range of professional staff and we’re expanding and supplementing our lecturing team with part-time lecturers who are professional practitioners with their fingers on the pulse.

“We work very closely with the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), which provides an incredibly exciting opportunity for the school. We are currently designing a programme of events for our continuing professional development calendar and hope to offer a range of training and short courses for industry in the future.”