We are beginning to see a trend in the construction industry whereby women are stepping into male-dominated roles and leading the charge towards a more gender-balanced future. Orla Feely, for example, was elected President of Engineers Ireland in 2021 and has been pioneering an industry drive towards diversity and gender equality ever since. We’ve seen a story go viral about 18-year-old Kate Fahey, Ireland’s youngest and only female crane operator who is advocating for more women to consider a career in construction. Such advancements play no small part in raising the profile of women in construction, but there is still plenty of room for further improvements where gender representation is concerned. In order to progress the industry to new heights and inspire a future generation of engineers, a gender balanced workforce is essential.
J.V Tierney proudly support and encourage diversity, gender balance and female representation in the workplace. To celebrate International Womens Day and Women in Construction Week 2022, we caught up with one of our female engineers to discuss her experience in the engineering industry.
One of our Senior Engineers, Zuzana Sandorova, followed the path of engineering so that she could be part of “reshaping the landscape of cities and changing the old into the new and improved.” Zuzana’s role as a Mechanical Engineer at J.V. Tierney & Co allows her to work on projects that strive to achieve exactly that. Zuzana is also a Chartered Engineer, which means she is industry leading in her field and practicing at the highest level of competency.
Zuzana is one of the many women fighting the statistics that consistently reveal the significant gender imbalance in the engineering industry. According to 2019 findings by STEM Women, only 13% of engineering graduates and 12% of engineering professionals in Ireland were female. Despite such numbers, both the perception and demographic of women in engineering is slowly shifting in the right direction. Zuzana feels that in her experience “women are recognised well in the industry, and it’s great to see more and more women getting involved in construction.”
This year’s International Women’s Day theme as decided by the United Nations is ‘gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,’ which aims to recognise how women around the world are responding to climate change. Sustainability and climate mitigation in the built environment are responsibilities assumed in large part by engineers, especially in a company like J.V. Tierney who specialise in sustainable design. Zuzana says that the most exciting part about her role at J.V. Tierney is “helping to create projects that are functional, efficient, and comfortable for their occupants while improving their carbon footprint and the environment.” It is important to have environmentally-conscious women like Zuzanna working in engineering and designing a more sustainable future.
Everyday Zuzana is inspired by “the ability and desire of engineers to improve things.” This is true in the context of efficiency and sustainability in the built environment, but also in the context of workplace equality. With more and more female engineers like Zuzana entering into the construction industry, we are on the right path to a more fair, balanced, and sustainable future.
J.V. Tierney would also like to acknowledge our female Engineers and BIM Speacialists Geraldine Cahill, Paula Murphy, Priscila Pergolin and Ainhoa Gomez, as well as our support staff Mary, Olwen, Siobhan, Aoife and Phyllis.