Fraud Blocker
Media > Community > International Women’s Day Spotlight: A sit down with Beth O’Grady

International Women’s Day Spotlight: A sit down with Beth O’Grady

International Women’s Day is an annual celebration of the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women around the world, focusing on topics such as gender equality, reproductive rights and challenges surrounding discrimination. The day is also a great opportunity to highlight those who make a difference to people’s lives – whether that’s in a personal or professional capacity.

For this year’s event, which takes place on Friday 8th March, the theme is Inspire Inclusion, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to place the spotlight on some of the incredible women working across McCann who are helping to shape the future of our industry and make a positive difference.

Our first feature sees us sit down with Administrative Assistant Beth O’Grady, as she explains what her role covers, what International Women’s Day means to her and how she feels the civil engineering industry is evolving to meet the needs of its female workforce.

Thank you for sitting with us Beth, let’s start by finding out how long you’ve worked for the business and what your role involves day-to-day

I have worked for McCann for two years and I really enjoy being part of this great company and learning new skills.

As an Administration Assistant, my role sees me supporting different departments such as Accounts, Fleet, HSEQ and Training. My day-to-day responsibilities include scanning in the proof of deliveries and matching them with the correct invoices, and sending emails to supervisors to check if all items have been delivered – especially when invoices are over a certain amount. I’m also responsible for scanning invoices to my colleagues for them to input onto the system.

Within the fleet department I input the off hire and on hire spreadsheets on a weekly basis for the vehicles that are being used and put them to the correct job. In the Health and Safety department I deal with the inputting of PPE issue sheets, Loler and Lifting Accessories on excel spreadsheets. 

When I receive any training materials, I print them and make them into booklets before sending them to the member of the staff that has requested them. Sometimes I need to organise DHL Collections for the materials to be delivered to London.  

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, International Women’s Day represents the fact that even with my own personal issues, such as instances where I’ve put myself down, I have managed to enjoy a number of big achievements and I’m continuing to make big steps in my day-to-day life. 

The theme for 2024 is Inspire Inclusion, what does this theme mean to you?

For me, Inspire inclusion means that women should be made to feel valued and included in everything. Women should be supported in being able to lead, while having economic empowerment and being inspired to make big decisions both inside and outside of the workplace. 

Could you share with us a woman who has inspired you either in your personal or professional life?

England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps has really inspired me. I know her from school and I remember that she was told she wouldn’t get anywhere in football, but she has consistently proven people wrong and successfully overcome people trying to hold her back. 

I can relate to Mary’s story because in the past I’ve felt like I haven’t received the support I need from people because they didn’t believe that I could achieve in life, which then made me think the same about myself. 

This feeling really came out after working at Morrisons for seven years. I just never thought that I would be able to secure a 9 to 5 office job and have my social life back. However, through lockdown I completed three online courses to build my knowledge and skills – which has allowed me to make the career shift that I have. 

In what is historically a male dominated industry, how do you succeed and make your mark?

I’ve managed to succeed and make my mark by working hard, producing quality work and being there to support different departments across the business.

I feel that I’m very helpful and friendly towards my colleagues and I always go above and beyond when needed. 

How do you feel McCann successfully creates an inclusive environment for its people?

On a personal level, I’ve been encouraged to develop my skills across a number of areas. This has included being given access to two excel courses to build my confidence and help me to successfully work within a specific department. 

I’ve also received a lot of support with career progression, alongside mental health support – with the ability to talk to someone in private when I feel good or bad about myself. The management team is also very good at including everyone in social events, which makes you feel part of a team.

How do you think the civil engineering industry is evolving to meet the needs of its female workforce?

I think the industry is evolving to meet the needs of its female workforce by having more female workers on site and involving them more and more within the office environment. The industry shouldn’t be heavily male, women should be included and given the confidence to progress.

The office environment I work within is very accepting of women – creating strong teams and enabling women to enter and succeed in the industry. 

There are more women working in civil engineering now, especially within site and fleet-focused roles. As society has become more accepting of women working in the civil engineering sector, you can see evidence of greater equality, which can only create positive change going forward.


If you’d like to take the next step in your career in civil engineering, explore the opportunities on our Careers page.

Back to top