Scotland gets Women in Plant group

Gail McEwen

The working group is co-chaired by and Gail McEwen, director and lead trainer at Setting Out For Construction and immediate SPOA past president Callum Mackintosh of Highland Hammer Hire.

Gail McEwen is a civil engineer, plant operator, an approved trainer for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and is currently completing a PhD at Glasgow Caledonian University. Gail is joined in the group by Charlie MacGregor, Zaya McMillan-Grant, Carly Sommerville and Laura McKechnie.

The Women in Plant working group priorities for the year include: promoting understanding of issues that affect women in construction (notably health and wellbeing); supporting women with training opportunities to advance their careers; and creating content to inspire young females to consider a career in the plant industry.

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Gail McEwen said: “I have been championing women in industry for a long time now but we are more powerful when we join forces. In many ways, the industry has progressed so much since I first started 15 years ago and that is really heartening. I heard from my peers that they were happy in their jobs, felt supported and respected and saw a path to career progression.

“However, there are other challenges that still remain, ranging from health and well-being concerns to basic amenities like toilet facilities on a construction site. Additionally, there is an underrepresentation of women in managerial positions. While strides have been made to increase the number of women in senior roles, it’s crucial that these appointments are not seen as mere tokens but are made with the intention of gaining meaningful insights to enhance career opportunities for women in the field.”

Callum Mackintosh added: “This is a significant milestone for the SPOA. We now have a working group made up of women who each bring different skills and experience but who are all passionate about promoting careers for women in the plant industry.”

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