Women in Construction

Women in Construction

Women in Construction

Lauren Burnett: 11 March 2022

The construction and consulting industry is fast paced, varied and challenging, which is why I enjoy working within it. I am able to work on a wide range of interesting projects and assist in resolving technical problems; no two days are the same. I enjoy telling people what my job is, as most people aren’t aware that what we do is crucial to the developments they see going up across the UK.

The construction industry has historically been perceived as being a male-dominated industry. A simple google search will confirm this; “13% of construction workers are female” and “the construction industry has the worst gender pay gap in the UK”*. In my experience, men are still the most prevalent gender in this industry by quite some margin. The majority of clients and contractors we speak to on a daily basis are men, and just recently I was on a training course where I was the only woman in the room. However, in recent years we are seeing a large shift in women joining the industry, but most importantly women are progressing into senior and management roles. This shows new female employees that enter this industry that there is a career pathway for them, not just a job.

At Omnia, I’m lucky to be surrounded by a fantastic group of like-minded female colleagues, who all have a wealth of experience. Our management team is split equally between men and women, which is something that really appealed to me when I joined Omnia. They support our personal growth and frequently promote internally, which helps the women in our team get into those senior roles. Likewise, I’ve recently seen the number of women joining the industry at graduate and consultant level is increasing.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. I’ve experienced some uncomfortable situations on site, as have some of my female colleagues, however the more we work to break down these stereotypes the less frequent these situations will get. I regularly see LinkedIn posts from consultancy and construction firms, including Omnia, promoting women in construction and highlighting female achievements. I’m confident that if we keep continuing as we are, there will be a more equal working environment within this industry.

Acoustic Consultant

*Womeninconstructionsummit.com

If you’d like Omnia’s acoustic help with your project, contact us to speak to one of our team.

Omnia’s National Three Peaks Challenge

Omnia’s National Three Peaks Challenge

Omnia’s National Three Peaks Challenge

In September 2021, a team of Omnians completed the National Three Peaks Challenge – scaling the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales. They began climbing Ben Nevis at 10am, then climbed Scafell Pike overnight and finished with Snowdon the following day. This is a fantastic achievement and the team thoroughly enjoyed the challenge – most of the time!

The photos are great and they capture the challenge perfectly – we particularly like the difference between the group photo at the foot of Ben Nevis and the one in the dark at the top of Scafell Pike!

The team have also created a short video to document their journey:

The aim of the challenge was to raise funds for Rowans Hospice, which is a charity local to our Portsmouth office. We raised an incredible total of £3,242.10 which has all gone to the charity and will help their continued support for the local community. Thank you to everyone who donated, we had some very generous contributions and every donation has gone towards much needed funds for the charity.

A Year in Acoustics

A Year in Acoustics

A Year in Acoustics

Matt Elliott: 14 September 2021

A Year in Acoustics – And what year it’s been! While graduating in the midst of a global pandemic, careers prospects across the board for graduates seemed bleak, with programmes being cancelled and entry level jobs becoming evermore limited. And while I left university not having a specific career path in mind, the hope of finding a job I would enjoy became ever more daunting.

Having written my third year dissertation on the topic of the UK’s planning system, and housing crisis, I knew this sector was an area I had great interest in. An opportunity in acoustics was posted and I read more about the role and responsibilities it would entail, and Lo and behold it surprised me how many of the elements that I had been looking for crossed over in a career I had never heard of!  

I subsequently applied for the role and was successful, thus starting my acoustics journey. While I didn’t know what to expect, I was excited and intrigued about what my day to day would look like. Following this, my primary roles as a graduate were and still are, completing site works, including noise surveys and relevant note taking, which I thoroughly enjoy, as working outside and on different sites means no two days are ever the same. Also, through prepping reports for consultants, it has given me a better understanding of the necessary steps required in producing various noise impact assessments.

Acoustic Consultant

Through working with colleagues on various project and having experience in the industry, I feel I have progressed my knowledge significantly, not only in acoustics but the wider environmental planning sector. 

I’ve since had a great year in the industry, being exposed to so many of the different aspects that goes in to acoustics, learning new elements daily, and visiting places I would never have got the chance to if it not for my job. 

I thoroughly look forward to the next year, and hopefully many years to come in the industry.

If you’d like Omnia’s acoustic help with your project, contact us to speak to one of our team.

Men’s mental health week

Men’s mental health week

Men’s Mental Health Week

Reflecting on last week being men’s mental health week and with the view to continue raising awareness, we caught up with some of our colleagues to find out how they were looking after themselves during lock-down.

The global pandemic and extended country wide lockdown has had a huge impact on our physical health however we also need to think about our mental health. A study from the charity MIND has also highlighted the impact of what social distancing could have on a man’s mental health in particular. The study showed 63% of men would be more likely to talk about their mental health over a drink with a friend. Obviously, the restrictions on activities and social interactions would have made this very difficult indeed and could mean that a lot of men do not reach out for help when they need it most.

We realise now more than ever how important it is to all keep in touch and talk to each other when we feel we need too, so we can all come out of this feeling as happy & healthy as possible. So recently when catching up with some of our colleagues, we asked them a few quick questions  about what they have found challenging during lock-down and what they have done to keep their physical and mental health well.

What have you found difficult about lockdown/social distancing?

I love interacting with friends and colleagues and meeting new people, it’s a huge part of my life, both in and out of work. Whether it be business networking, project meetings, a B2B or a social event, I’d typically find myself sat down doing something with someone or a group of people throughout my week. The initial impact of this suddenly stopping was rather daunting, finding yourself floundering without purpose initially is a strange feeling. From past experiences I know that the best thing for many is to talk, but this can often be a bit difficult in the first instance however does become a great relief.

What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

Spending more time with my family has been amazing (although not without its own challenges…), home schooling has kept me on my toes, flitting between the sort of lessons a year 5 has to do and a year 10 in GCSE prep helps you focus mentally! I’ve drifted back to reading as well, I used to be a prolific reader and have rediscovered my love of books lately. Physically, well I’m lucky enough to live on the coast so have been getting out for walks around the harbour and beaches and more recently as restrictions have lifted getting out on the water on a paddle board.  I did try Yoga on a recommendation but swiftly found that I’m not really built for it…

What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

I am looking forward to seeing the teams and colleagues come back together and ramping back up on the work front. I have a passion for all that we do and cannot wait to get back in to the thick of things (where I’m allowed!) and getting my teeth in to some challenging projects. Outside of work? pub, restaurant and………gym?

– Lee McDonald, Managing Director

What have you found difficult about lockdown/social distancing?

Strangely for me it has been suffering from bouts of anxiety. I have never suffered from it before and to be honest did not know what people meant when they said they suffer from it. The feeling of knowing something was not right but not being able to work it out has come as quite a shock. I am a strong character and usually find myself supporting others but I found myself being very closed about it and initially did not know how to deal with it but for once in my life I actually spoke about it to my partner and this helped a tremendous amount.

What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

As simple as making sure I went for a walk with my partner to get out of the house and to talk. Luckily, we have had mainly good weather throughout the main part of the lockdown and this has helped a great deal with the mental health aspect. It gave us time outside of the confines of the house, a time to talk and to take in some of the simple but beautiful sights that we have on our doorstep. Apart from the sights we saw and enjoyed, people’s attitude and friendliness shone through. Everyone being polite and friendly in social distancing and thanking each other for making space. This really helped.

What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

Routine and interaction.  Whilst I have been impressed with using things such as Teams and believe we as a company have embraced and used it well, I still like the office environment and the ability to interact with people.

– Huw Thomas, Operations Director

 

What have you found difficult about lockdown/social distancing?

It has been difficult not seeing relatives for the current 3-month period. Equally on a more practical level it has been difficult to not be able to nip to the shops as a family. With young children current guidelines mean that only two from a family group can go to the superstores so this has ruled out a lot of the usual trips.

 What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

I have been doing more exercise, making sure that I used the single trip out of the house to exercise when this was the only time allowed out. Since then I have kept this up and go out in an evening after work. This allows a change of scene after a busy day to allow me to unwind a bit.

 What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

It will be great to get out for a pub lunch and enjoy weekend days out in normality.

-Tim Mitchell, Associate Director

 

What have you found difficult about lockdown and social distancing?

Me and my partner live in a small 1-up-1-down house which makes working from home interesting as we spend all day in the same room and can’t ‘shut the door’ on our work stations at 5pm. Working on site has been surprisingly easy, though whilst drilling with a 1 man window sample crew social distancing isn’t overly difficult.  I have obviously missed my family as they are 2 hours away, though I can thankfully now see them.

What have you been doing during this time to help your physical and mental health?

I’ve been doing lots of running and cycling as exercise always helps ease the feeling of being cooped up. I have also been doing a fair bit of gaming to pass the time.

What are you most looking forward to about getting back into the office & life returning to normal?

I am definitely looking forward to the office banter and going out for food/drinks. It will be nice once I can meet up with friends properly again too!

-Jonah Cook, Consultant