Great British Bake-off star Ruby Bhogal had an empowering message for over 600 Welsh school girls during a unique, nationwide event at the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC).
Speaking on International Women’s Day (IWD) Ruby, who has a Master’s Degree in Architecture, said: “We need to break stereotypes and showcase the hidden talent amongst young women.”
The event, hosted by CITB Wales, showcased the variety of construction career paths available to girls across the country. A live-stream from the CWIC Hub saw Ruby address five other venues across Wales: Coleg Cambria, Wrexham, North Wales; Coleg Cambria, Deeside, North Wales; Coleg Y Cymoedd, South East Wales; Coleg Sir Gar, South West Wales and Coleg Ceredigion, West Wales.
At all locations over 600 girls (year 8 and above) heard Ruby discuss her role as a Project Manager in the rail industry, and star of 2018 Great British Bake Off. They also heard from Fabienne Viala, Chair of Bouygues construction and Carole Ditty, Legal Director Bouygues UK about their roles and experiences as senior women in the sector.
Ruby added: “Construction offers a large spectrum of opportunity; it can take you worldwide and across a number of fields. It has led me to personal satisfaction and it’s why I’m a huge advocate for women exploring construction.”
You can watch Ruby’s speech in full, along with advice from Fabienne Viala, Chair of Bouygues UK and Bouygues UK below.
During a video shown at the event Fabienne Viala, Chair of Bouygues UK, said: “I’ve worked in construction for 30 years and it’s been great fun. Construction is a fascinating industry, there’s never a routine.
“We need to build more schools, more housing, more roads and to modernise. I think that bringing more girls into the construction industry is key. We want to look like our clients and the communities in which we want to build. A more diverse, inclusive workforce will make us better at what we’re supposed to be doing in the industry. My advice to girls is be yourself, believe in yourself and go for it!”
Donna Griffiths, CITB Partnership Manager Wales, said: “CITB Wales was delighted to host this unique collaboration with construction employers and colleges across Wales. We share Ruby’s passion, CITB wants more women to train and begin rewarding construction careers. Ruby is a fine role-model for students, it was a great event. ”
Students had the opportunity to take part in a range of interactive activities with construction employers who shared information on how to get involved with work experience and apprenticeships.
CITB Wales’ Partnerships Director Mark Bodger said: “For me, the quote of the day was from a young girl to her teacher. After listening to Ruby’s live-streamed speech she said: ‘Miss, is it too late to change my options? I want to do something digital in construction now!’ That comment was worth all the effort everyone connected with the event put in.”