Top female leaders in the construction industry that you should know about

Top female leaders in the construction industry that you should know about
Top female leaders in the construction industry that you should know about

The construction sector has been a male-dominated industry, with an article on the BBC reporting that a recent study found that only 15% of the construction workforce is female.

Despite this, progress is happening as challenges such as gender pay gaps and gender bias have been a focus in recent years. Many women in the construction industry have become leaders, and this guide looks at some of the women you should know about.


Female leaders in the construction industry

  • Nicola Bird
  • Hattie Hasan MBE
  • Carol Massay
  • Elizabeth Diller
  • Alison Cox
  • Mandy St John Davey


Nicola Bird

Nicola Bird is the founder and CEO of AccXel, the UK's first construction skills accelerator centre founded to tackle the skills shortages in the construction industry, and is a director at her family construction firm K W Bell Group.

She has been working in the construction industry for over 10 years and has gained a Master's Degree in Construction Safety Management from the University of South Wales and a Post Graduate Certificate in Leading Business from the University of Gloucestershire.

Nicola Bird is planning to transform construction education and is aiming to attract people to the industry, make it an aspirational career, upskill people, and improve diversity in the construction industry.

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Hattie Hasan MBE

Hattie Hasan began her working life as a teacher, but after leaving a career in teaching in the 90s, she became one of the first women plumbers in the UK.

Now Hattie Hasan is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and business leader. She has made it her mission to provide women with a platform to get into the construction and plumbing industries. This has culminated in her being awarded an MBE for services to women in the plumbing and heating industries.

Hattie Hasan is the founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers, the world’s only national company of women plumbers and heating engineers. She even created The Register of Tradeswomen CIC during the COVID-19 pandemic, which aims to train survivors of domestic abuse to train in trades.


Carol Massay

Carol Massay is head of construction at the Access Group, an award-winning construction software business that helps construction businesses improve their visibility and control during every step of the building process.

Carol Massay has worked in the construction industry for more than 30 years, and she recently won the ‘Year’ at the Great British Business Woman Awards. Her career has seen her work at national housebuilder Barratt Developments, the Irish civil engineering and building company Southern Ireland Asphalt Company, then Carol moved into the construction technology sector and worked with some of the top 100 contractors in the industry, and she is now Head of Construction at The Access Group.

Speaking to PBC Today, Carol Massay shares some advice for other women looking to enter the construction industry: “I’m very much about women in construction. The sector has always been thought of as unattractive, but it’s a great sector to work in. The opportunities are great.

“It’s not just about going out and being out on-site – however, if you want to do that, you can be a quantity surveyor, you can be a design engineer, you can do anything!

“The salary is good; we’ve got so much to offer. At a singular level, they are listening, and there’s always a good way to have a different view in business and why should it always be through the lens of a male-dominated sector.”

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Elizabeth Diller

Elizabeth Diller is an American architect that has previously been named on the Time 100 list, making her not only one of the most influential females in the construction industry but one of the most influential people in the world.

Diller has a reputation for creating visionary structures, and she has been involved in projects for many of the world’s most famous buildings. Alongside her husband Ricardo Scofidio, Elizabeth Diller founded Diller Scofidio + Renfro in 1979, and some of the projects she has worked on include the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art and the Centre for Music in London as well as the Broad Art Museum in Los Angeles and The High Line park in New York.

Diller is an award-winning architect, having previously picked up honours such as the Jane Drew Prize for winning the Women in Architecture award and the Wolf Prize in Arts for the ‘architecture’ category.


Alison Cox

Alison Cox’s career has lasted over 30 years, and she has been involved in many complex projects across the UK. She was the managing director at Sir Robert McAlpine’s London business, which are one of the UK’s best-known builders, for 11 years.

During her career, Alison Cox has overseen high-profile projects like the refurbishment of Big Ben and the redevelopment and refurbishment of the world-famous Ritz Hotel.

Alison now works as a Domestic Bursar at St John's College, Cambridge. As part of this role, she is responsible for the operational estate of the college, including buildings, gardens, sports facilities, catering, housekeeping and security.

These are just some of the female leaders you should know about in the construction industry, but many more are transforming the sector.

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Mandy St John Davey

Mandy St John Davey is an award-winning property businesswoman and has been a National Mentoring Champion for the Association of Women in Property. Her career spans over 30 years, and she specialises in residential property and renovations.

Mandy St John Davey is the owner of two businesses, Designed by Mandy and TBM Properties Ltd, and her vast experience in the construction industry has seen her regularly feature on TV, print and online media. She often speaks about property, construction, women’s issues in the sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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If you work in the construction industry and need temporary protection products such as aluminium tape or other products, we have a variety of protection solutions at Beck.

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