Lauren Holland: Getting more women into Surveying

Lauren Holland is a woman who is passionate to make a difference. Working as a surveyor, she has noted that there is a massive shortage of women in the industry, something that effects the industry on a day to day basis.

Lauren has a genuine love for her job and is driven to get more women working in surveying. In her blog she lets us know how she got into her position and how she hopes to inspire girls into choosing surveying as a career.

Current role

I work for Murphy Surveys, the leading geospatial land and engineering survey company in the UK and Ireland. I am lucky enough to be part of the Monitoring department, spending most of my days on construction sites using a Leica TM50 (total station) to monitor for structural movement. I also am starting work a little as a geospatial consultant, which enables me to attend events to spread the awareness of the surveying industry. Monitoring is a very important part of any construction process; we measure not only the construction site but also the surrounding buildings to detect any structural movement, and alert the relevant people should the buildings move too much. This type of work means that every day I am on a different site, no two days are ever the same. The rest of my day is spent in the office processing the measurements and creating a report for the client.

How did you get to the position

By working hard and loving what I do. Even to this day when I am training my colleagues, I carry my own notepad, you just do not know what you might learn. This has really helped me progress further by constantly striving to learn as much as I can. Even if it is not my department, I still ask to have the opportunity to learn the new piece of kit in laser scanning etc. This has made me an all-round surveyor.

I got into surveying as my careers advisor at university chose it for me! I was having a bit of a crisis not knowing what I wanted to do and she asked me what I like doing which is being outside and 3D modelling at the time. She told me to research surveying and so I did and here I am.

Proudest achievement

Firstly, I believe one of my greatest achievements is actually becoming a woman in the construction industry. It was not easy starting a career in an industry that is predominantly male. But I did and have thrived ever since.

Secondly, I actually feel my biggest achievement is yet to come, as I am still early on in my career and striving to change the future of women in construction, I feel like there is a big achievement waiting for me just around the corner.

“I have always said, males have great ideas, females have great ideas and together we create the best ideas! So I do believe a company will improve if it has a more diverse workforce.”

The need to break down barriers

We need to promote female role models to increase the number of females on site. When this happens, it will start to become the norm to see women walking around construction sites. The next generation play a big role in the future of women in construction and I believe it is important to visit schools to promote the industry and help inspire kids from a young age.

Inspiring leader

I do not only believe in myself but also other people, always focusing on what other people need. And have always believed that through working with others it is the best way to make things happen. I have a very clear vision in my head about my goals and what I want for the future of women in construction. Inclusion is a big part of being an inspirational leader, and this is a big part of being a leader in the women in the construction industry. I am always honest, and especially in leadership this is extremely important, people appreciate honesty and it is part of being integral.

What I hope to achieve in the future

To raise the awareness of women in the industry, showing everyone that being a female on site does not affect anyone’s ability to rise up. The next generation will play a big role in how the future of women on site is shaped, and it would be so amazing to be able to go and be a role model for other females and help them on their journey. I also would like to start raising the awareness of the surveying industry as a whole, people don’t realize that nothing would be built without surveyors, and we never get any recognition. So it would be great to help everyone understand what exactly we do and how they wouldn’t even have Google Maps or houses to live in without surveyors.

My advice to young women starting a career

Get experience – I really do feel this is so important, go out and do a few days or a week with a company you are interested in to see if this career if for you.

Carry a notepad everywhere you go so you can jot down everything you learn, this is also a good reference to go back to if you need reminding.

Ask as many questions as you can, I would not be here today if I was not that assistant that questioned everything.

Do you have an interest in reading about women working on-site? If you do then you’ll love reading Katie Kelleher’s blog about operating the tallest crane in Britain.


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