Gaynor Wainwright is a communications and customer manager in Kier Highways. Here she talks about starting a new job during a pandemic, adapting to new ways of working and how a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be.
“I joined Kier at a particularly unusual time; we had just gone into our first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I had no idea how it might affect my new role. Before the pandemic, I would often meet clients, customers and colleagues face-to-face, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to build the strong relationships my role relies on without those meetings; little did I know that I’d be adapting to a whole new way of working.
“It’s not been without its challenges, but I think online communication and agile working is going to be the new normal, and it has encouraged all of us to look at new ways of working. I still get to speak to lots of people, and to promote the industry, which I love.
“I work with a fantastic team. A couple of months into my new role, a close family member died, and I still struggle with grief. Without the support I’ve received from my colleagues and management, I don’t think I’d have been able to deal the challenges of the last 12 months quite so easily.
“I’ve been in the workforce for a long time, and passionately believe that women can do any role that men can; a woman’s role is wherever she wants it to be, and I’m glad that at Kier, I’m empowered to build the career that I want.
“Now, we need to be encouraging women of all ages to come and join the industry – there’s a role for everyone within construction, whether you want to be out on site or in an office.”
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