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International Women’s Day Spotlight: Get to know Sarah Wright

The third instalment of our week-long International Women’s Day celebration is here, and this time we’re getting to know our Commercial Assistant, Sarah Wright.

In a very interesting conversation, Sarah explains why this year’s theme of Inspire Inclusion means so much to her, how McCann creates an inclusive environment for its workforce and how the wider industry is adapting to an ever-changing landscape.

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

I started in my role in May 2023 and I’m responsible for a number of different areas within the commercial team such as raising client invoices, processing subcontract payments, carrying out journals, coordinating month end reports, cost analysis and creating new jobs within our internal systems. 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

I fully appreciate why most women have a strong feeling towards International Women’s Day, although for me I don’t particularly feel that way. It’s a day to celebrate all of the strong and independent women in our lives and to look back at how hard women have fought for equal pay and more rights within the world of work.

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

It’s about everyone being included, no matter who you are. It’s about making sure everyone feels like they fit in. One thing I love about working at McCann is that in our office we all embrace how different everyone is. I hate to say it, but it is like one big happy (dysfunctional) family!

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

Personally, I can’t say that I have a woman that has inspired me in any way. Coming from what was a challenging childhood, I quickly realised that I would have to be my own inspiration. I am a big believer in finding who you are and inspiring yourself to be you, rather than who you believe everyone wants you to be. With that said, I am a mother to a very funny and beautiful ten year-old daughter and will try my utmost to be the inspiration she needs in life, while still being the independent boss lady I know she will be.

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

Let’s not beat about the bush, civil engineering is still very male dominated; however, I would say that I make my mark by simply being me.

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

I can honestly say that I have never felt ‘left out’ or incapable of doing something because of my gender. If anything, I would say it’s the opposite. I am being pushed to progress my career, which has been demonstrated in my promotion to Trainee QS in March. I would say all roles are accessible for everyone, irrespective of gender or background.

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

For me one of the biggest things is being a working mum. My hours are suited to my childcare needs. I think more and more women are now working within construction, so the civil engineering industry has to move forward with the times. I can’t speak for all civil engineering companies, but I would say that McCann is definitely on the right track when it comes to meeting the needs of its female workforce.

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