Building Equality

Challenge Perceptions Through Education


As part of the #BuildingEquality 2018 campaign by CIF, four Hilti employees share their stories as a woman in construction – each focusing on how their career began, what helped them along the way and how we can set a precedence for future generations of women.

This time, Aoife Kelly, Digital specialist at Hilti Ireland shares her story…

Working in the construction industry as a female, it’s important to be an advocate and support campaigns that challenge the low representation of women in the industry, 5.5% in Ireland is too low!

I have always had an interest in science and technology and went on to study Environmental Science at University. Not joining the construction industry as it was a male dominated industry never even crossed my mind.

The construction industry is a versatile and growing industry. Role models have played a significant part throughout my younger life. By attending Loreto Convent, an all-girls grammar school, it enabled me to be surrounded by strong female and male characters from a young age who encouraged us to fully apply ourselves in all areas of our life, to be brave.

Role models are vital. It’s important to surround yourself by brave people who inspire you and you can grow and develop together. My role models have always been my close friends – we challenge each other, support each other and are always applying the mindset that we were taught at Loreto of “do good and do it well”

Aoife Kelly

The #BuildingEquality campaign is essential to address misconceptions and encourage behaviour change. The industry isn’t just for boys – and it’s important to challenge perceptions through education and initiatives.

How do we attract more women and girls into the industry? Education is key – promoting opportunities to young kids especially young girls, with tangible role models.

The Lottie Doll Tour (#LottieTour #BuildingEquality) campaign run by the CIF with involvement from Hilti and other industry professionals such as Mercury Engineering, Walls Construction and Arup is a key example of the great campaigns focused on breaking down stereotypical and traditional norms, which tell young girls from an early age that certain areas of interest are ‘just for boys.’

When young adults are choosing their exam subjects is a critical time. Therefore, advertising progression rates of the successful females in the industry would encourage more young females to join the industry and take on STEM subjects.

What do you think would encourage more young females to join the industry? Tweet us @Hilti_Ireland to let us know!