Role model of the year announced at UK Construction Week

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Breaking down barriers in construction, Arleta Andreasik-Paton, an engineering project manager at Aecom, has been named Role Model of the Year at UK Construction Week (UKCW).

Recognised for her passion for inspiring the next generation into construction, Andreasik-Paton was presented with her award by Steph McGovern, journalist at BBC Breakfast and Barbara Res, the female engineer behind Trump Tower, at UKCW on 10 October.

Judged by Nottingham Academy for Girls, the students rewarded Andreasik-Paton for her determination to strive within the construction industry and were entertained by her own inspiration – wanting to build her own house after watching her father and grandfather build an extension.

Mairead Gallagher, BIM coordinator at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and Christina Riley, senior construction planner and an equality, diversity and inclusion champion at Kier Group, were both highly commended.

The students were also particularly impressed by Avi Contracts’ project surveyor, Anjali Pindoria, for her continued efforts encouraging black, Asian and minority ethnic people into the construction industry.

Andreasik-Paton said: “When Steph started talking and I realised I had won I got quite emotional. It means so much that the students chose me and could identify with my story. I’m not from a construction background, but I moved into the industry with transferrable skills, studied while on the job and here I am now. It’s a privilege to be able to become a role model for other talented young people who can find wonderful careers in construction.”

“There can of course only be one winner, but all those shortlisted can be proud of the hard work, dedication and ultimately, the change that they are bringing to the construction industry.”

Andreasik-Paton and all of the shortlisted role models will continue to take part in activities with schools and colleges to break down barriers and stereotypes associated with construction.