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Meet Bridgitte Rogers from our building team

Over the coming months, we'd like to introduce you to some of the building team helping to bring The Gardeners' House back to life. We're working with Jewell Construction, a Cornish building firm, over the next 12 months to renovate and restore the building.

Bridgitte has been working on site with us recently as a reinforced concrete specialist. We thought it would be interesting to share her experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry - she's a key part of this early stage of our building project.

Name: Bridgitte Rogers

Job: Reinforced Concrete Specialist, self-employed

Do you live in Cornwall and how long have you been down here?

I have lived in Falmouth all of my life, Cornish born and bred.

How long have you been doing this job? How did you get into this line of work?

My Dad, a carpenter by trade, started taking me to work at weekends on and off from the age of 12. He had his own business carrying out reinforced concrete contracts. 

How has your career progressed over the years?

I started with an office job for a large local building firm in the buying department. I requested a move from office to on-site as  my passion was to be working in an onsite environment and so I became an Assistant Site Manager. Eventually I progressed to managing my Dad’s firm where I had the best of both worlds, working in building and civil engineering, carrying out valuations, estimates, programming, risk assessments/method statements, steelfixing, formwork, concreting and crane driving. After he retired I started on my own.    

What does your job entail?

Steelfixing, formwork carpentry ( including design and programme of works) and concrete placement.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

Getting my hands dirty! To look at a structure and think “I did that!”, is very rewarding.

How long will you be working on the Gardeners' House project and what are you specifically doing with us?

I’m working for Jewell Construction on the reinforced concrete lift shaft, cantilevered beams and slab, for a period of approximately 4-5 weeks.

What do you think about our project?

It’s fantastic to see this beautiful old building being updated and made future-proofed for many generations to enjoy.

Is this a very male-dominated role and what has your experience been like as a woman in this field?

Yes, it is absolutely male-dominated, but I have experienced very little discrimination throughout my career.

Are more women coming into the industry/field?

In the industry, I would like to think so but it’s happening very slowly. There is a huge shortage of steelfixers and formwork carpenters compared to other trades regardless of gender, sadly.

Are there barriers that you think might prevent women from considering this line of work - what puts them off? What needs to be done to change that perception?

There are great opportunities for women in construction but I think more can be done in schools to promote the Industry.

What would be your advice for younger women considering their careers in engineering?

It can offer a great career path with excellent pay. It can be challenging, exciting and fun…..Go for it!

Have you seen many changes in the field over your years of experience?

There is a definite skill shortage, I hope to see this change before I retire.


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