The Hi-Vis Vest

‘If you wear one, be proud!’

 
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(Above) Cassie Bray, field-based coordinator at Openreach featured in Women in Trade’s autumn 2017 issue (image by Openreach)

There is an unnoticed specialness about a hi-vis vest. It is visible and has many colours, which indicates the class of trade.  It is protective and makes you feel part of the team but, what about the wearer? Who are they? We see them almost every day but who are they? If it was not for them, who would build our buildings, ensure that they stay up even? Who would manage our facilities, monitor and maintain our underground tunnels? Let’s face it, they are more important than we acknowledge them to be. So, next time you see someone wearing a hi-vis vest digging up your local road, an engineer with his or her head in a cable cabinet, hanging off a ladder, in a train tunnel, driving our trains, driving an ambulance, collecting our rubbish, up scaffolding, testing your electricity meter, surveying a property and managing facilities, remember they are keeping you safe, keeping your network working, driving you to a late or important meeting or audition, making sure that the property you buy does not cave in and that the roof stays up and delivering that important parcel or mail. So think… great! They are here!

Let’s take a look into the fascinating world of the women who wear them

The Hi-Vis Vest

Meet Roma Agrawal MBE, Structural Engineer responsible for designing the foundations of the iconic spire of The Shard in London

“I worked with Mechanical Engineers at Oxford University one summer and found their work really interesting and inspirational. It was then that I decided I wanted to do engineering”

Structural Engineer Roma Agrawal has managed to achieve what few do – making a living out of her two favourite things. A keen enthusiast of both science and design, she finds that her job as an engineer combines the two perfectly. With her design work including projects such as The Shard in London…To continue reading this article, comment and share, subscribe for full access.

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The Hi-Vis Vest

Meet Charlotte Hale, award-winning Site Manager at Hale Construction

“Girls should be given the opportunity to do taster sessions in subjects such as plumbing and woodwork in a fun and engaging way”

Charlotte was interested in the construction industry from a young age. However, when she first finished studying BA Business Management at Swansea University, she thought that she wanted a graduate business job. It was only when she was working for the family business whilst job hunting that the ‘love bug’ struck her and she developed a strong desire to continue the family tradition… To continue reading this article, comment and share, subscribe for full access.

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The Hi-Vis Vest

Meet Camilla Barrow, Deputy Project Manager at Rail Systems Crossrail

Camilla is living proof that in building new bridges, sometimes you have to knock down old ones. 

Ever wondered how a new Tube Line gets up and running? Turns out it takes a whole lot of design, procurement, testing and at least one girl in an orange hi-vis vest. We got inside access from Camilla Barrow, the mastermind behind London’s brand new Elizabeth Line, to the laying of tracks not only for this particular project, but also for the progression towards gender equality in the engineering industry… To continue reading this article, comment and share, subscribe for full access.

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The Hi-Vis Vest

Meet Cassie Bray, Field-Based Coordinator for the Openreach network

“I was 1 of 3 females in my area who qualified as an engineer, a significant achievement as we were 3 out of 300+ engineers.”

By the age of 25, Cassie Bray was already a trailblazer as the youngest Field-Based Coordinator for the Openreach network. She continues to pave the way for women in the engineering field and here she tells us what drew her to such a male-dominated working environment, and just how she holds her own in the industry.

On the surface, Cassie looks like any other late-twenty something. She’s got a decent job, a young daughter… To continue reading this article, comment and share, subscribe for full access.

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The Hi-Vis Vest

Meet Claire Gott MBE, Senior Civil Engineer and Design Manager at WSP, co-founded Cameroon Catalyst, an international development charity that delivers community-led infrastructure projects

“Civil engineering is still seen as a ‘muddy boys’ job” 

Claire Gott, Civil Engineer and Design Manager at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, can trace the roots of her career to one ‘eureka’ moment. “It came on a school trip to Tanzania when I was sixteen, where I spent a week in an orphanage helping to rebuild furniture. I realised I wanted to do something hands-on to make a difference to the quality of people’s lives.”

Claire went on to do a degree in Civil Engineering and Architecture and, during her Master’s, co-founded the charity Cameroon Catalyst in joint partnership with Mosame Trust and… To continue reading this article, comment and share, subscribe for full access.

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The Hi-Vis Vest

Meet Blair Harvey, Assistant Site Manager at Barratt Homes, Southern Counties

“It is certainly possible to progress and succeed as a woman in the industry, without having to give up on personal ideas of femininity”

The first time Assistant Site Manager, Blair Harvey, handed over the keys to a home she had built from scratch, she had tears in her eyes. “I was so happy for them,” she told Women in Trade. “Helping very happy customers move into their dream home and seeing how excited they are, especially first-time buyers, is an amazing experience.”

Blair started on the path to construction when she was studying for her A-levels, which included Product Design and Business Economics. “I wasn’t sure which direction it was going to take me,” she says. “My careers advisor suggested I look into Building Surveying at university and he was definitely right – I loved it.”

After working part-time at the builders’ merchant Travis Perkins… To continue reading this article, comment and share, subscribe for full access.

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