How do women working in the construction industry challenge traditional gender stereotypes? For Women in Construction Week and International Women’s Day, this year we spoke to Zoe Adamkiewicz and Chloe Edwards, who are both apprentices with KMT Electrical and currently working on new housing developments being built by Williams Homes, on behalf of ClwydAlyn and in partnership with Anglesey County Council.
‘I applied for my apprenticeship when I started college full time in 2017. Starting my apprenticeship with Adra, I qualified in May 2022, and now work for KMT Electrical and have been since last October.
‘Currently I’m wiring new build houses on site in Pentraeth. We started the first fix (work from foundations to internal plastering of walls) in October and I’m now on the second fixing (work after the plastering). And in the next couple of months they will be ready to start testing.
‘Things I enjoy most about my role are taking the responsibility when I’m on site on my own. I know if there is a problem, I will have to sort it. I enjoy coming to site every day and seeing the progress that’s been made, and after the site in Pentraeth is completed, I’ll be moving on to the new site in Valley. I’m really looking forward to seeing a site being started from scratch, to then being finished.
‘I thought an apprenticeship would be better than going to university because I’d be learning and earning money at the same time. I’ve never minded this role being viewed as a male job because I could never understand why I couldn’t do a ‘Man’s Job’. Above all, I felt that having a trade is beneficial in many ways, and I’d be able to work anywhere around the world once I had my qualifications.
‘For International Women’s Day I’ll be coming to work with a big smile on face, as always. Being the only woman on site makes me proud, and I have such a laugh and banter with all of the other Trades. Most of all I feel that everyone is equal, and there is absolutely nothing stopping a woman from doing a man’s job.’
‘I saw the opportunity for an apprenticeship when a family friend, who was local, told me about KMT Electrical. I’d completed 12 months in college, and applied.
‘My role involves all the work needed from first fix to second fix in the new build timber frame houses. I also sometimes work on house conversions into social housing flats, and have assisted with solar panel installations, car chargers and installing the inverters for the solar panel systems.
‘I enjoy most being on site and seeing different people doing their jobs and seeing the end result. I always said I didn’t want to be doing the same thing every single day, and with this job it means there is always something different to learn, being surrounded by people who have different roles to you.
‘I was told in college that I would struggle to get an apprenticeship in the trade industry because I’m a girl, which made me ever more determined to try. I will be spending this International Women’s Day happily working on site!’
Zoe and Chloe’s inspiring start to their careers in construction are fully supported by Williams Homes and ClwydAlyn, partners in the developments. Owain Williams for Williams Homes added,
‘Here at Williams Homes, we are keen to encourage more women into the construction industry at all levels. We strive to create more opportunities by offering mentorship and career advancement opportunities. Inclusive and welcoming work environments for women are essential, including female-friendly facilities on site.’