Women in Construction – The Path to Success

Fiona Little

In our series designed to encourage young women to consider a career in the Construction Industry, we asked Cogent Project Manager Fiona Little to tell us how she came to work in the industry.

What were your favourite subjects at school?

Maths and Biology.

Did you know, while you were at school, what job you wanted to do?

No; I liked problem solving and science subjects, but I didn’t have a clear career path in mind.

Did you go on to further study after leaving school and if so, what made you choose that course?

Yes, I studied Structural Engineering with Architecture as my undergraduate degree and then completed a Masters in Civil Engineering with Business. I chose to study engineering as I liked the subjects and as a primary degree it provides relatively broad career options.

What was your first job?

My first job was working in a bakery during 5th and 6th year (turned me off cream for years!) and my first professional job was working as an intern in the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Office of Sustainability.

You now work for Cogent Associates as a Project Manager, what do you like about your job?

The variety; every day is different, we work with a diverse range of clients seeking to deliver exciting projects. There’s always something to learn on each project, depending on the team, scope, site, technology etc and for me that’s one of the best bits about the job.

What advice would you give to any young woman considering a job in the construction industry?

Try it out; if you know someone working in construction ask them if you can shadow them, go to industry events, try to get work experience in an area of interest to understand what the day to day job is like.