Manjeeta Pathak is the a Site Manager at Barratt London. Since studying a Master’s Degree in project management, she has been going from strength to strength in her career. In 2018 Manjeeta won the ‘Inspire Me’ award at the CN Talent Awards in London, the award recognises individuals working in the construction industry who have helped to improve diversity or empowered women with the knowledge and confidence to advance their careers within construction. We are incredibly pleased to feature Manjeeta on #YesSheCan.
What is your current role?
I work closely with the site team to deliver the construction project as required.
My day normally starts the afternoon before, planning the work for the next day. I carry out the induction on site in the morning and sequence the trades to carry out the work as per the build program. I closely monitor the progress throughout the day and address any issues that arise.
How do you ensure that you are an inspiring leader?
I use my powerful voice for the unrepresented or underrepresented. I tend to speak with schools and university students and participate in panel events to ensure that I am inspiring the future group of inspirational young people and, at the same time, giving a different perspective to the older generation.
What barriers have you faced in your career?
I hadn’t faced or felt the barriers unless I started in construction. The major barrier I have felt is to be in a male dominated industry and have an opinion.
What motivates you to keep going?
People telling me that the construction industry is not for women and I won’t be there for long keeps me motivated.
What do we need to do to break down barriers in the workplace?
Diversity and inclusion is the only way forward. In order to break down the barriers, we need to have equal participation from a diverse group so that everyone feels included.
If you could change one thing about the working world what would it be?
I would introduce more inspirational female leaders and CEOs. The world is missing out on major female participation and is unaware or only little aware of the differences they can make.
What three tips would you give to young females starting their careers?
Believe in yourself.
Don’t let anyone else decide on what your potential is.
If someone says you are an aggressive and difficult woman take it as a compliment, we need more aggressive and difficult women to bring about the change.
What’s great about being a female in your role?
People have much lower expectations and think I can’t do it. Proving them wrong is definitely the best part of being a female in my role.
Do you think government quotas are a good thing around diversity?
Any initiation around diversity is a good thing as we haven't got a diverse workforce. All initiatives should be welcomed until a diverse workforce is attained.
Does diversity really help organisations?
Diversity brings diverse views, approach and solution to the problems. It challenges the organization so if it is an organization that wants to change, progress, think outside the box and grow then diversity will definitely help. But if it is an organization which is reluctant to change then diversity will struggle to help.
What has been your biggest knockback?
Understanding that change needs time has been my biggest knock back. As construction industry is changing at an extremely slow pace which is sometimes hard to accept.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I hope to play my role actively in this transition phase to pave path for all the unstoppable inspirational future woman and wish to see substantial growth in female participation.
If you felt inspired by Manjeeta Pathak's story on changing the way women are vied in the construction industry, you'll love reading about professional crane operator, Katie Kelleher.