Female ‘Role Model of the Year’ announced at UK Construction Week

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UK Construction Week
Arleta Andreasik Paton with her 'Role Model of the Year' award.

Arleta Andreasik-Paton, Aecom’s engineering project manager, was awarded for her determination to inspire the next generation into the construction industry

Steph McGovern, journalist at BBC Breakfast joined Barbara Res the female engineer behind Trump tower, to present Arleta’s award.

Commenting on her achievement, Arleta said: “When Steph started talking and I realised I had won I got quite emotional. It means so much that the students chose me and could identify with my story.

“I’m not from a construction background, but I moved into the industry with transferrable skills.

“It’s a privilege to be able to become a role model for other talented young people who can find wonderful careers in construction.”

The judging students from the Nottingham Academy for Girls also commended Mairead Gallagher, BIM coordinator at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and Christina Riley, senior construction planner and an equality champion at Kier Group.

Avi Contracts’ project surveyor, Anjali Pindoria, also stole the show for encouraging black, Asian and minority ethnic people into the construction industry.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said: “Our role models initiative aims to encourage new talent into the industry.

“This campaign gave us a fantastic opportunity to work with Nottingham Academy for Girls.

“We have loved hearing directly from the students about what inspires them.

“All those shortlisted can be proud of the hard work, dedication and ultimately, the change that they are bringing to the construction industry.”

Arleta and the other finalists will continue to take part in activities with schools and colleges to break down barriers and stereotypes associated with construction.

UK Construction Week
UK Construction week sign at the NEC Birmingham

The second day of UK Construction Week also saw a whole host of experts and industry professionals helping to highlight many debates surrounding mental health, equality, diversity and inclusion within the construction sector.

Speakers throughout Wednesday’s event tackled everything from looking abroad for better examples of social housing to offsite solutions to help solve the affordable housing crisis.

Amongst the hustle and bustle of UK Construction Week, visitors could also find Grand Designs Live, a separate show chaired by TV’s Kevin McCloud.

Emma Priestland, Friends of the Earth discussing how to design in the home without harming the environment.

From the 10-14th October, visitors can see Kevin and a selection of experts at the Grand Theatre tackle the best ways to go about self-build renovation projects as well as addressing the big issues such as plastic pollution and avoiding financial pitfalls and homelessness in Birmingham.

UK Construction Week at the NEC in Birmingham is due to end today while Grand Designs Live will continue until the 14th October.

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