For this year’s International Women’s Day, we asked some of our colleagues to reflect on what #EmbraceEquity means to them.
Martin Fox, Chairman
I believe I am a good architect. But I’m a pretty bad gardener.
I can appreciate the volumes and space required to create a good garden, but I struggle with the actual plants. I know what I expect from them, but often the plant doesn’t thrive. It’s the same with houseplants – I choose a plant to lighten a dark corner only to find the dark corner defeats the plant!
I recognise my problem is that I don’t pay enough attention to their needs – advice on the type of soil, the aspect, hours of sunshine and vulnerability to attack tends to go over my head, but slowly I’m training myself to recognise this and make sure the best plant for a given role is selected and nurtured. So, now I don’t place impossible expectations on the plant but l feed and water it, and I’m pleased to say that my garden is improving.
As always, business reflects life.
There are roles for all people and all roles are important, but mistakes can be made when expectations are imposed without understanding the abilities and interests of the person. We are celebrating International Women’s Day and the importance of women in Lawray, but irrespective of gender, or physical abilities, recognising where our people will thrive and providing the right support to suit their needs will always ensure success.
Carrie Tomkewycz, Financial Director
Gender equality within construction and professional services has come a long way since the 1980s, especially throughout my career with Lawray!
I have undertaken several roles over the past twenty years from receptionist to financial director, and in that time the number of women within our team has increased from 2% to 40%. I’ve never considered what equity means to me or our organisation until this moment, and now understand that many of us have succeeded in our careers as a direct result. Educating our team will develop and build on this as we strive for inclusion and equality.
Several fabulous leaders have graced my time at Lawray. They invested time in assessing my skills and capabilities; they invested money in my training to suit my abilities and my personal commitments; and they have shared their wisdom and cultivated corporate values which have shaped who I am. Two of these values are to act with emotional intelligence and to be ethical, both of which, I believe, are intrinsic to foster equity.
My professional progression and wellbeing are products of the equitable behaviours within Lawray. I became the first woman to join the board of Directors which was fairly unusual, as I hadn’t followed a stereotypical path after leaving education aged 16. Through personal effort, equitable opportunities and support I have obtained academic qualifications and extensive experience to progress through the ranks. I will strive to embrace equity as a leader and mentor of our fabulous Lawray team, but also importantly as a mother of the next generation with my daughters and son following military STEM careers. Leadership and equity begin at home!
Lucy Evans, Architect
Fairness is key to the role of the architect who seeks to achieve a fair outcome for both client and contractor.
So, when speaking about equity, this is at the core of my role as an architect. When approaching design, I hope to bring balance to the spaces I create and provide harmonious environments for the building occupants.
I am happy that I have found a fair employer with Lawray Architects. As a mother it is important for me to strike a balance between work and family life and with Lawray’s agile working policy I am fortunate to be able to achieve this.
Michelle Mason, CDM Consultant
Lawray has been instrumental in helping me progress my career within the construction industry. Since the very beginning of my time with the company I have felt valued, have been encouraged and have received a level of support second to none.
Being a female in a male dominated industry may often seem an uphill battle and whilst there is still some ways to go, I feel undeniably confident that equal opportunities and inclusion will continue to be intrinsic to the ethos of Lawray and is a company I am proud to be a part of.
We are always on the look out for talented people who share our principles to join our team, and currently have some open opportunities. If you are interested in joining us, then please visit our careers page and get in touch.