Lauren Holland | London, UK
Positive Role Model (Gender)
I grew up in North London in a town called Enfield and went to a school in Hertfordshire. I then decided I wanted to live by the sea for a few years away from the city, so applied and got offered a place at Aberystwyth University in Wales to study Geography. I got into surveying through my degree in Geography and found my love for being outside and drawing 3D models. I decided to do some work experience at a surveying company in my Easter break to see if I would enjoy being a surveyor. I loved every single day, and worked so hard to learn as much as I could, which obviously paid off as when I finished they offered me a job. My Murphy Surveys journey began in 2015 as a junior land surveyor in the general surveys department. This was very exciting for me as it meant I got to learn every type of survey; site services, laser scanning, topographical, monitoring and utilities. After a year with Murphy’s I got promoted to Surveyor, after this I started to process my own jobs. This involved using AutoCAD and Cyclone, it was amazing to be able to go on site and then come back and draw your own 3D model.
I am lucky enough to be part of the Monitoring department, spending most of my days on construction sites using a Leica TM50 (total station) to monitor for structural movement. This type of work means that every day I am on a different site, no two days are ever the same. Recently the site I have been working on for a while, has excavated the remains of one of Shakespeare's theatres dating back to the 1500s, and it is up to me to make sure that the surrounding buildings do not get affected by the excavation (and it is pretty exciting seeing the theatre every week). The rest of my day is spent in the office processing the measurements and creating a report for the client. These findings are vital in supporting our client’s decision making and in providing assurance that the structure is safe. I also help out with the interns/apprentices and new staff quite often, with training them to become an all round surveyor. I will create a work sheet for them so they will have all the information for future site works and will always give my number so they can call me any time.
As I am still a minority on construction sites, I have decided I want to make a change to the future of women on site so started volunteering. I am now a STEM ambassador, part of DEC (Design, Engineer, Construct) and part of the get kids into survey scheme. I have visited a quite a few schools, and quite a few all girls’ schools. I love showing the next generation that working in the surveying industry isn't all dirty work and can be for women too. I have also started to represent the company at some events to not only raise the awareness of the surveying industry and but also women in construction, it is such an amazing feeling to be part of the future of shaping London. I will never not have time for this, I feel it is so important to help the next generation, If I can make a difference, I will do anything.
Firstly, I believe one of my greatest achievements is actually becoming a women in the construction industry. It was not easy starting a career in an industry that is predominantly male. Especially as at the start there was a few comments about how females are taking jobs from men etc, but I have worked hard and now show them I belong there just as much as they do.
Secondly, I actually feel my biggest achievement is yet to come, as I am still early on in my career and striving to change the future of women in construction, I feel like there is a big achievement waiting for me just round the corner.