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Wednesday , 17 April 2024

Bringing more women to construction sites

Minimol Korulla Jacob, Maccaferri

According to Minimol Korulla Jacob, Maccaferri, the number of women involved in construction field is poised to increase

Aren’t there many many women taking up the challenges at the construction sites?

In the construction field especially in highway infrastructure, the participation level was less earlier but has improved in the Government sector and in the Private sector in the recent past. However, it is not adequate if one sees the overall picture. A major reason is the absence of proper facilities in many construction sites and the apprehension that women cannot handle the financial and contractual complexities involved in the construction field. And, this sure is a myth.

The fact is that there are many women who act as the backbone of organizations. They lead many challenging projects from the back irrespective of the complex nature of the construction field. Their field experience, long years of research, and devotion to their chosen field are helping many of these organizations to reach certain dignified heights in terms of acceptability, acknowledgment, and brand image. At times this silent contribution from women is not getting recognized enough in the Industry.

The Indian road sector has achieved multiple-fold growth in the last few years. When we search for the different parameters which resulted in this growth, we will realize that one of the main reasons is the evolving women’s leadership. Women act as engines and drivers at the same time silently, fuelling the growth of this sector by being part of research bodies, design groups, and implementation teams.

 

What about Maccaferri?

In organizations like Maccaferri women play key roles, especially in design, tech support, and field coordination. Our women engineers reach out to places that are challenging, work for extra hours, and spread the new technology by conducting in-depth short courses and workshops in various parts of the country.

In each of our landmark projects, at least one decision-making leader would always be a woman.

There is a beautiful support system for us in our organization as well as in our family which encourages us to face and conquer challenging obstacles and achieve success as a routine in everything that we do. This great ecosystem keeps us fit for making the extra stretch to reach a higher level of quality and effectiveness with adequate skills.

We work in areas of slope instabilities, Hydraulic works, pavement rehabilitation, coastal erosion, landfill engineering and so on where specially developed new technologies will be answering the complex unsolved problems giving importance to sustainability. Our Engineers work with renewed energy every day to match the technical and commercial targets set by the organisation week after week and I am proud to say that many of my female colleagues play a vital role in bonding the teams and giving the extra dynamism required for such a mission. These women power banks excel in leading the terms from the front as well as behind.

Working in remote areas can be challenging and educating too…

For most of our projects, we may have to go to extremely challenging remote places, staying there without any connectivity with the outside world to collect information from the nearby areas including local communities for arriving at necessary design data for important projects in the field of landslides, rock falls or flood-related protection work.

The skill to go deep into a problem and modify conventional solutions by working on innovative ideas and technologies is a part of our job. There are women technologists who excel in such jobs with their innate ability and mental strength to go to the micro level. Another required competency in our field is to convince and communicate new technologies to the existing expert community of industry who prefers to practice the same old patterns without any change or deviation.

Our women engineers excel in the various communication modes where industry veterans as well as the new generation are being taught how new technology can change the current practices to achieve a new world with sustainability and reduction in carbon footprint. We conduct workshops, short courses, and online webinars nationally and internationally and our women engineers are taking leadership of such events. Women often proved as better communicators and trustworthy educators for the development of innovative technologies which lead to widespread acceptance and adoption of such technologies.

Irrespective of all skills and success women are demonstrating in the current era, I believe that a lot more can be done and this can only be achieved by bringing more women to more decision-making roles across the nation. I am waiting to see such a balance.

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