‘Women can thrive in construction’ – life at VolkerRail


Women in Construction Week takes place during the first full week in March every year and celebrates and promotes the role of women in the industry. 

Women in Construction Week
by Rory ButlerMarch 7, 2023

To encourage more women into the sector, Vikky Goodwin, who is a lead document controller for signalling and telecoms at VolkerRail, talks about life at the company and ‘wants to debunk myths about being a woman in construction’. 

Vikky is an advocate for inclusivity and mental health and believes all women have the opportunity for a successful career in an “industry that will pick you up and support you like no other”. 

‘A lot more than just digging a hole’ 

“Working on a construction site is an experience I would challenge every woman to have,” said Vikky. “I think when women think about women in construction, they maybe think about women being chaperoned. But the free reign we’re given to progress our skills within construction as women is second to none. Construction is a lot more than just digging a hole or installing things – for a woman it could be so many different avenues.” 

‘Women can thrive’ 

“I think women can build a career in construction, as long as their mindset isn’t stopping them,” said Vikky. “I think there’s a lot of misconception about how far women can go in the rail and construction industry and it doesn’t come from us as an industry, it comes from the perception that women think there’s going to be sexism, discrimination, that they’re not going to thrive in that industry because it’s male based.  

“Men are very supportive in this industry, they want you to thrive, they don’t see you as ‘a female’, they see you as a colleague who, to get a job done, needs to be on equal par. If women could get past that misconception and think out of the box of what construction and rail is, then women can thrive. If more women applied for construction jobs, then we’d see the boom that we needed for women in construction.” 

‘Break free’ 

Vikky went on to say that the idea that women need to be “on site digging a hole and proving your strength” to work in construction, or that men will “belittle you and make you feel inferior” if you’re not on site, is “not true”.  

Adding: “I know stereotypes and social media and the way the world works now would put you into a box and make you think you wouldn’t belong in an industry that feels very male-dominated, but trust me, break free, come out of your comfort zone and you’ll find so much enjoyment and skills you probably didn’t even know you had to make you a really strong and independent woman in an industry that will pick you up and support you like no other.” 

Listen to Vikky’s full story here.

If you enjoyed this article, we also recommend Tales from the Hook hosted by Katie Kelleher 

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