#TeamHAD

  'Most Influential Woman in Architecture UK 2017' info@hussaindesigns.c.uk  

Where are all the women? Women in Construction.

I started Hussain Architectural Design (HAD) in 2011 at the age of 23 in the midst of the recession where construction has been hit the hardest, I had worked several years in practice and completed my studies at the University of Huddersfield. I worked on small residential extensions for family and friends for the first 6-12 months, through recommendations, my business started growing and I then rented a small office not far from home, five years on we’ve had over twenty award nominations and a number of wins, buildings featured on TV shows an interview for the apprentice I have five practices and a very strong design team working alongside me. I’m currently studying for a PhD and looking to expand further into London. 

I was always told that the Construction industry was ‘no place for a woman’ and I understand that women make up only 11% of the industry, facing massive barriers on a daily basis however, I feel both the image and culture of construction is slowly changing and as a woman I will continue to work towards fighting for better conditions and more flexible working policies that allow both men and women with other responsibilities to work within the industry. I’ve recently started to carry out design classes/talks in schools & colleges to encourage young females to join the industry.

The hours in Architecture are very anti-social, there is a macho working culture, we’re working on building sites with 100% male construction workers, the building officers and the majority of clients are male, we’re not part of the golf club scene and have found it’s sometimes hard to get on with men in the same industry because I was never moving in them business circles. I also found that the building industry does not accept the authority of a female in construction, you can either accept that or quit or you can keep working until you prove them wrong. I will carry on working towards smashing through the glass ceiling we have. I feel both the image and culture of construction is slowly changing and as a woman I will continue to work towards fighting for better conditions and more flexible working policies that allow both men and women with other responsibilities to work within the industry.

I’ve had clients (in the early stages of my career) who are more than happy for me to take on interior work because that is ‘women’s work’ however they are reluctant to have you involved in working on structure and exteriors.

I am not part of the golf club scene and have found it’s sometimes hard to get on with men in the same industry because I was never moving in them business circles. I found that the building industry does not accept the authority of a female in construction, you can either accept that and quit or you can keep working until you prove them wrong.

It’s is actually an advantage being a woman when working with homeowners during construction. You can show compassion and understanding when they are going through the upheavals inherent to construction. You find they’re more comfortable confiding in a woman when it comes to these things.

We need to know our worth and build up confidence in the construction industry, working in the office we do the same amount of work if not more than our male colleagues. You’ll always get funny looks from male colleagues/construction workers when they first see you on site however they will adjust.

Saira Hussain 

Hussain Arcitectural Design Ltd

info@hussaindsigns.co.uk

07786 391688

image
Posted 135 weeks ago