Synergy News & Blog: London Office
‘Break the Bias’ with Tricia Henry, International Women’s Day 2022
Happy International Women’s Day! Today is one of the most important days to celebrate the achievements of women and raise awareness about women’s equality. At Synergy, we caught up with our incredible Assistant Building Surveyor Tricia Henry to discuss her journey as a woman in the construction industry.
1. What does the International Women’s Day slogan #BreaktheBias mean for you in your work life?
International Women’s Day not only means celebration and strength, but the day reminds us of the journey we have taken to get this far and to continue pushing.
It allows me to think about all the strong women that paved the way for our generation and the legacies each of our predecessors contributed throughout this trailblazing journey. Although we’ve made it this far, we need to continue to challenge gender bias by educating others while empowering and inspiring our fellow women.
Break the Bias symbols strength for me when I am feeling overwhelmed with obstacles.
2. Why did you choose to become a Building Surveyor?
I was lucky to have had a great and encouraging manager who saw the potential in me. He recognised that I could learn and strive within this industry and noticed how enthusiastic I was when investigating and remedying building defects. After going through some internal training, he proposed that I studied Building Surveying and even though my dream was to become a Nutritionist, I embarked on this new adventure.
3. In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up Building Surveying in the near future?
I strongly believe that a person should do what they are passionate about no matter their gender. It is also crucially beneficial to have an equal balance of diversity within any industry.
Primarily construction is showcased as a physically intensive environment and not a “woman’s world”, however, it is important we encourage more women to enter the built environment industry. Working in construction has taught me that the industry requires a huge range of skills (such as problem solving and coordination) and by opening up the field to a more diverse workforce we have access to these valuably different perspectives.
4. What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in construction?
We live in a challenging world, so it is best to do what you love and continue to push barriers with no apologies.
“Life is tough and so are you” so nothing is impossible. When you fall (and you might do) pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again.
5. Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to female surveyors?
Yes, most definitely. I have faced many stereotypes since I have embarked on my journey. Not just as a woman, but as a black woman and not only at work but throughout life. It is essential to educate others on inclusivity to spread awareness and promote real change. To do this we need to lead by example with good integrity.
6. What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women of your age?
There is a stigma that a young women cannot perform at the same level as a mature professional which I believe is redundant and farfetched. I am a proof that in this sector, it is possible.
I am incredibly proud of the significant impact I’m having within this profession and like everyone else, will continue to learn and grow from my everyday experiences throughout my journey.
7. How important is it for women to be part of a movement and what does that mean to you?
Unity is highly important to demonstrate strength. We need to break the chains of restrictions and knock down the barriers of what women can and cannot do.
8. On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?
My Grandparents always told us “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try and try again”. This has been my daily affirmation and I won’t stop now. Failing does not mean you are a failure; it is about how you bounce back and take charge.
Starting from the beginning gives you a wealth of experience and knowledge to overcome obstacles, so channel every experience as an adventure, be the best version of yourself and enjoy what you love doing.