What bias have you seen or experienced in your working career?
Construction is considered a ‘man’s job’ and a male-dominated sector. When a woman starts a construction career there is a common misconception that, for example, they cannot work on a site and are more likely to work in an office. Of course, women are as just as capable as men, but their abilities are often underestimated which I find very unfair.
How have you handled bias in the past?
I continued my work without losing my motivation. You cannot fight with an irrational approach. Women don’t need to prove themselves, but for me at the time, the best approach was to carry on.
What have others done to support your career?
I have had good, supportive colleagues and managers. When I first started, I had one manager who taught me many important things and believed in me. He was never prejudiced, gave me the same amount of work as my male colleague and was encouraging and fair.
What advice would you give to a female colleague joining Knauf Insulation today?
I believe Knauf Insulation offers a great supportive environment for women. Advice? Just be open and direct. You are accepted for who you are.
What needs to be done to support women and tackle bias in the workplace?
We need more female managers to set an example and open new paths for female colleagues. We also need to make people more aware of biased behaviour because it is usually just a habit. Women often make more of an effort to ‘be seen’ by people on the executive team, but then end up overloaded. We need to take our fair share.
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