To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women in Construction week we asked our colleague Niamh Grace to share some insights into her career to date. Niamh is Senior Quantity Surveyor/Project Manager.
Introducing Niamh Grace, MSCSI, MRICS
How long have you been in the AEC industry?
I have worked in the industry for the last 13 years, working in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. I qualified as a quantity surveyor and in recent years I’ve transitioned into project management roles.
What projects and/or achievements are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all the projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on. I’ve been fortunate to have worked on a diverse range of projects in many different sectors. I worked in Christchurch for five years after the 2011 earthquake, and I was part of the city’s rebuilding efforts. The introduction of design mechanisms to prevent similar occurrences, and the need to adapt to revised building regulations, was both interesting and challenging.
I look forward to revisiting the city to see the completed projects, specifically The Christchurch Convention Centre.
Who is the most influential woman you know?
I am lucky to have come from a family of strong, hardworking women. My mother has always been a great influence in my personal and professional life. In relation to the AEC industry, I went to a speech by Sara Fox in 2013 — she is known as the Iron Fist. She has an amazing story and a brilliant career working on some prominent projects. I found her to be inspiring and powerful with a funny flare.
What are some of the biggest challenges that women in this industry face today? How will these change in the next 20 years?
In this ever-evolving world, there will always be challenges. Historically, construction was not an industry favoured by women, but this has changed. Women and men now work collaboratively, and both recognise valuable traits in the other which benefit the industry. This has advantages for employers, employees, and projects. The challenge (for all industries) is to move with the times, embrace change, and adapt to the world we live in by being open.
Click to read about some of our Cumming Group colleagues.