Voice: Good morning, everyone! We have a special guest with us today. Her name is Maisie Lo and she’s got a very interesting job. Welcome, Maisie and thank you for taking time to chat with us.
Maisie: No problem, I’m glad to be here.
Voice: Can you tell us what your job is, Maisie?
Maisie: I am a technical production manager for Summerfell Concrete, and I work in the concrete industry. I just love concrete. It’s my passion. I love looking inside a concrete mixer, watching the blades turn and checking that the concrete in there has the correct properties that it needs.
Voice: Wow! Are people surprised when you tell them what you do?
Maisie: You bet! It is unusual for a woman to work in the construction industry and that’s really a shame. We should have more girls and young women pursuing a career in this field.
Voice: Why do you think so?
Maisie: I suppose some women are put off because a job in this industry means braving the elements to work outdoors. But mostly, it’s because they don’t consider construction a career option.
Voice: I must agree.
Maisie: And a big part of this can be attributed to the education system. More than 80 per cent of materials engineering and civil engineering students are male, and girls are usually encouraged to excel in the arts even in primary school.
Voice: And Maisie, how did you end up in this field?
Maisie: I was taking a gap year and my granddad thought it would be a good idea for me to check out apprenticeship opportunities. I eventually found one with Summerfell Concrete, and have been there since then! I wish school career fairs could focus more on the cool aspects of other non-traditional jobs related to the concrete industry though.
Voice: Right. Could you tell us cool aspects of your job?
Maisie: Parts of my job include flying a drone to assess new building sites so as to figure out what sort of concrete is needed for a project, and meeting interesting people from other fields. Also, I get to wear these hi-viz orange jackets, hard hat and goggles at work. How cool is that?
Voice: Ha ha! What sort of project are you working on at the moment?
Maisie: Right now, I am collaborating with an environmental scientist on a new type of building, and we’re replacing traditional concrete slabs with green concrete that is made of waste material.
Voice: That’s really great. These days, many construction companies are finding ways to build more responsibly to protect our environment.
Maisie: Exactly. This has also led me to take up a part-time degree in geology and mineralogy, so that I can play a bigger role in terms of building and environmental sustainability. I used to think that it is just a common building material but there really is much more to concrete than meets the eye.
Voice: Indeed! It’s been a pleasure talking to you, Maisie. Thank you!
Maisie: My pleasure!