At this year’s UK Construction Week (UKCW), it was announced that 2018’s Role Model of the Year was Arleta Andreasik-Paton – engineering project manager at Aecom.
The female engineer behind Trump Tower, Barbara Res, and BBC Breakfast journalist, Steph McGovern presented Arleta with her award during the construction event on 10th October.
The students judging chose Arleta to receive the award for her determination to strive within the construction industry and her ‘entertaining’ inspiration – wanting to build her own house after watching her dad and grandad build an extension.
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.
Arleta comments: “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 transferable 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.”
Much discussion has taken place around diversity and changing the industry’s image during UK Construction Week. Throughout the week, role models have been taking part in seminars alongside expert speakers on political correctness and tips on creating a more diverse workplace. Keynote speaker, Barbara Res, also encouraged women in construction to talk to each other and not to blame themselves when faced with discrimination.
Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, concludes: “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.”
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