Interview: Emma Eady, Senior Design Manager on working at Populo and advice for other women considering a career in Construction

Posted 10 March 2023

As part of our celebration of International Women’s Day, we interviewed Emma Eady our Senior Design Manager on her experiences of working at Populo and her advice for other women considering a career in construction.

Q: What is your role at Populo?
I am a qualified Architect with the role of Senior Technical Design Manager at Populo. I predominantly work on Populo projects post planning, including four projects on site, in construction. My role involves me working closely with the design team and contractors through detailed design to ensure Populo are happy with the final product. One of the highlights of my job is attending the various sites and seeing each stage of construction. It is great to see how much progress happens week after week and the final finish is always a testament to the hard work everyone has contributed.

Due to the nature of my role, it wouldn’t come as shock, to find that I am often the only woman on site or attending meetings. Whilst I am working alongside a number of great consultants and contractors, who are actively working to increase gender diversity within the industry, the construction sector remains heavily male-dominated. More needs to happen to provide equal opportunities to groups who may have perhaps felt unwelcome in this sector. A lot can be tackled with women speaking about relevant issues which may be stunting the industry’s development. There is room for improvement in changing behaviours, attitude, and institutionalised thinking. We can also embrace the strengths women can bring to Construction and share positive experiences that encourage the next generation to feel comfortable that there is a role for them.

It is my personal aim to make a positive impact on the construction industry as a designer and woman. I want to encourage other women to choose a career in the construction sector and change the face of construction, normalising the position of women in the industry. 

Q: Tell us about your involvement in Equality, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity.
Over the past year we have been working on an update to our ED&I policy and produced a plan to implement the strategy. Populo have taken a number of steps towards achieving a better understanding of the benefits that ED&I can deliver within the workplace. We are working on putting policies in place that support women through their careers and celebrate and platform their accomplishments. We are also working with initiatives such as Women into Construction by offering work placements to women in Newham, providing an insight into the many roles women can have across the sector.

Q: What do you say to other women thinking of joining the industry?
A career in construction can seem daunting but the perception that women need to have a ‘thick skin’ to join the industry is quickly becoming redundant. Women bring resilience, empathy, and a great work ethic. The industry needs women to thrive, our voices are invaluable. Be a part of making the change and disrupting the status quo!

Follow Emma on Linkedin here

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