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MTX celebrates Women in Construction 2023

By March 6, 2023Healthcare, News

Modern Methods of Construction specialist MTX is celebrating Women in Construction week and International Women’s Day by focusing on the positive experiences of women within its workforce.

The Wilmslow-based company works primarily in the healthcare sector where it uses MMC and Design for Manufacture and Assembly principles to deliver projects faster, greener and more cost effectively for hospitals and health trust across the UK.

It is a leader in the provision of fast-track solutions to provide additional patient-care and specialist facilities and is currently working on new surgical hubs and Community Diagnostic Centres supporting the NHS strategy to reduce waiting lists.

The percentage figure for women within the MTX workforce has more than doubled over the past four years, from 9% in 2018 to 19% in 2023. The ONS reports that the proportion of women in the UK construction workforce is just 14%.

MTX has also signed up to the Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering Pledge launched by Construction News and New Civil Engineer publications, creating a voluntary code of practice that companies adopt to signal their support for women in the industry, and a commitment to drive change and support initiatives to create a more inclusive construction sector.

MTX Managing Director David Hartley explains: “We currently employ more than 60 people and continue to expand the business, but we can’t grow if we can’t recruit good people, and we are actively encouraging more women to join our workforce.

“The feedback we get from our employees is that we are ahead of the game in creating and maintaining a good working environment for women joining our company, and we strive to maintain a level playing field in terms of advancement opportunities within MTX.

“It is tough to recruit and retain good people within the construction sector and our emphasis is on having the very best workforce to deliver our projects to the highest standard for the UK healthcare sector. Going forward that definitely means employing more women.”

Shannon MasseyShannon Massey joined the company in 2022 as a pre-construction project manager but has worked in pre-con since 2018.

She explains: “Being a woman in the construction industry does come with its hurdles, however over the last five years I have seen a noticeable shift; there’s certainly an increase in the number of women on site which is very encouraging to see.

“In my short time at MTX I feel incredibly respected in my position, and my gender certainly hasn’t stood in the way of expanding my knowledge. I have a real willingness to learn and can’t wait to progress. The construction industry needs to be open-minded to women and the value they can bring to all aspects of the industry. With diversity comes new ways of working and thinking and that’s pivotal to progression in the industry.”

Katie WisemanKatie Wiseman is a trainee quantity surveyor at MTX in her third year of the course. She worked as a trainee at two different companies, which has enabled her to gain a perspective on the industry from two different outlooks.

“MTX is a progressive company giving me opportunities to gain a degree together with a solid grounding in the practical aspects of the whole company. I am engaged with a positive and forward-looking team, and I am confident in being able to discuss and get direction about both my career development and work situations.

“Providing more opportunities for discussing career development in construction and the wide variety of occupations it offers would attract many more women to the industry.”

Rachel JacksonRachel Jackson is a pre-construction commercial manager at MTX and joined the company last year as a senior quantity surveyor, after more than 20 years working in the construction sector, gaining a Main Contracting QS degree, a Masters in Construction Law and studying Commercial Management QS – ‘because business is all about the money’.

She has seen huge changes in the industry as more women have joined, and they have become a much more common sight on construction sites, whereas when she joined they were a rarity and usually confined to office duties.

“A lot of people outside the construction sector do not recognise the amount of white collar work involved in construction. They think it is all about the trades. But increasingly women are taking on planning design, project management and finance roles. I love the job and when I was working in that office years ago I saw what other people were doing, decided that was the job I wanted and worked hard to get there.”

Samantha (Sam) MakohlisoSamantha (Sam) Makohliso is a graduate quantity surveyor at MTX and recently celebrated the anniversary of her first year at the company.

She completed a degree in childhood studies, intending to work with children, but had a friend who was a project manager in construction and got interested in a career in the sector. Switching careers, Sam completed a quantity surveying masters and got her first job in construction at MTX.

Her role involves assisting and supporting her mentor QS at MTX, and working on areas including valuations, costs, and cash-flow. She spends roughly half her time on site and is looking forward to getting more experience.

She says: “The team at MTX has been very supportive and I am very comfortable working in the construction sector, and excited by the career opportunities. “