Once again, Constructive Voices, has been inspired by a former guest to create something new and exciting. Thanks to Emma Nicholson, we are collaborating to bring you a number of episodes that Focus on Females in the built environment.
This very first Focus on Females episode features Emma Nicholson interviewing Kat Draper.
Kat is a Chartered Civil Engineer and has been working in the construction industry for more than 15 years.
We cover why Kat chose engineering as a career in the first place, what motivates her and what special skills she feels are important to being an engineer.
Emma asks her about some of the most interesting engineering projects she has been involved in.
We talk about some work she has done that really helped a community.
The interview also delves into the challenges women currently face as engineers in the built environment.
Kat also discusses biodiversity and sustainability with us.
Kat is a Chartered Civil Engineer and has been working in the construction industry for more than 15 years. She completed a Master’s degree (MEng) in Civil Engineering at the University of Southampton and has completed the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification.
Kat first became Incorporated (IEng) before later becoming Chartered (CEng). Her latest roles focus on management and co-ordination of design teams; roles include Team Leader, Project Manager and Design Manager.
The projects she’s worked on range from early feasibility studies, preliminary design and detailed design, with extensive collaboration with Contractors, Clients and various third parties and Stakeholders.
Kat is keen to encourage others into the construction industry and is passionate about creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive industry. She promotes engineering to others through mentoring, by being a STEM Ambassador and facilitating student work placements and attending career events.
She is a member of the Women Engineering Society Equality Diversity Inclusion (EDI) committee, which provides a platform to assess the Engineering industry, highlighting best practice whilst challenging the industry in areas that require improvement.
With lower-than-average numbers of women and minority groups working in the industry, Kat acknowledges that change is required to make the industry more effective at attracting and retaining talent.
Kat believes that if people have certain skills or are capable and keen to do certain roles, they should be able to do a role that utilises those skills. This shouldn’t be limited or defined by gender.
The best teams will have different skills, emotions and personalities within them, and this provides resilience and balance. Everyone within the team has the right to be their authentic self, and being able to be authentic, they can give their best and achieve their own and the project objectives.
Emma is an award-winning Chartered Construction Manager and Chartered Environmentalist and has been a previous Board Trustee with the Women’s Engineering Society.
She is a Principal Sustainability Project Manager with a multi-disciplinary national UK consultancy with 25 years built environment industry experience.
She is also Chair of the EDI Specialist Interest Group for the Women’s Engineering Society and is an EDI Advisory Group member of the Chartered Institute of Building.
Emma founded the international LinkedIn Group, Women in Sustainable Construction and Property and has been Chair of the UNA-UK Harrogate Group since 2022.
Written by: Jackie De Burca