I still find that my decisions, and even my presence on site, are questioned much more readily than those of my male colleagues. I am constantly asked what qualifications and experience I have and why I didn't choose a more "suitable" job. Recently, parking at a site, I was told to move my car as the shops were shut and it was dangerous – they assumed I was shopping.
This sort of preconception is not just imposed by men on women. Even female clients have actually told me that they feel more confident dealing with a man.
In the company I work for now, the number of women is increasing slowly but steadily. I would like to reassure any women thinking of joining any construction profession that despite the uphill struggle, this is a rewarding area to work in and I wish more women would ignore those career advisers who tell them to "choose something you can actually do".
Jennifer Barrett, project manager, via email.