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Insights Why choose AtkinsRéalis as a career launchpad?

Hello, I’m Emily Hoyes, a Building Surveyor at AtkinsRéalis. My determination to pursue a career in construction and engineering was solidified after completing an industrial placement at AtkinsRéalis and obtaining a First Class Degree in Building Surveying.

If you’re wondering what to expect on a placement at AtkinsRéalis, I’m here to shed some light on my experience as a woman in construction. Read on to get a glimpse into the world of opportunities here!

Why should aspiring women in construction choose AtkinsRéalis?

Throughout my industrial placement year, I found inspiration in the dynamic and forward-thinking team at AtkinsRéalis, where I encountered key role models who continue to be a source of inspiration for me.

I aspired to join an organization that would nurture early-career professionals and present fresh challenges. Since my return to AtkinsRéalis, I can affirm that it has exceeded my expectations. It’s the top choice for accelerating your career, with diverse opportunities and a supportive culture.

My time here has constantly pushed me beyond my comfort zone in project work and various internal initiatives. My role within the company continues to challenge and fulfill me. I’m genuinely appreciative of the experience and support I receive from my colleagues and the broader Bristol team.

Photo of Emily in raduation

Delivering a better future

Prior to joining AtkinsRéalis, I had experience in overseeing smaller renovation projects. However, shortly after joining the company, I was given the responsibility of overseeing a substantial programme of sites for one of our key clients.

Whilst it was a demanding and somewhat daunting experience initially, it significantly contributed to my professional development. This period unveiled my enthusiasm for handling larger project volumes and playing a vital role in a delivery team

This experience imparted valuable lessons, emphasizing the significance of collaboration and effective communication amongst all stakeholders.

Currently, I am tasked with managing two construction programs for one of our key clients and supervising a team of colleagues who form the delivery team.

"I frequently oversee projects that focus on addressing non-compliance issues, with the ultimate goal of delivering a workspace that is both compliant and comfortable for the end user.” —Emily Hoyes, Building Surveyor

Learning never stops

One of the top benefits in my role as a building surveyor is that each day presents an opportunity for learning. During my time at AtkinsRéalis, I’ve actively participated in various training courses, including Asbestos Awareness training, access audit training, mandatory courses, and I am soon scheduled to attend a Principal Designer training course.

Additionally, I’ve recently joined the Inspire Programme, which, especially as a woman in the construction field, has equipped me with valuable insights and skills for personal and professional growth.

Guided by my mentors and with the unwavering support of my team and line manager, I’ve witnessed a substantial boost in my self-assurance and a significant enhancement in my capabilities as a building surveyor.

New building surveying technology

I find using resources such as Smartsheet and PowerBI incredibly helpful when managing large volumes of projects and data. We have recently introduced a new surveying technology, 'open space,' for site inspections.

This is really exciting and has been a useful visual aid to demonstrate site progress to our clients. However, I have got to admit, I had received a few funny looks when wearing the hard hat-mounted camera!

Beyond surveying

Most recently, I have been involved in a mentoring scheme through working with Envision. I found the experience incredibly fulfilling, witnessing a group of students grow in confidence and build integral teamwork skills, which they will no doubt utilize in the future.

While I joined the scheme to help develop the group of students, I found that I personally gained a huge amount from the experience, namely growing in confidence. I thoroughly enjoyed giving back to the community, so much so that I have volunteered for two cohorts with the scheme!

Photo of Emily smiling towards the camera

The next generation

‘Next Gen’ is a group of professionals, encompassing those at or below associate director level, who collaborate to enhance and champion social value initiatives, promote Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events, organize both internal and external networking gatherings, and serve as advocates for the emerging generation within our company.

In my role as the Building Surveying ‘Next Gen’ Representative for the West Region, I regularly attend the regional Building Surveyor update meetings. Traditionally, these regional meetings are predominantly attended by senior leadership. However, my involvement in NextGen has provided me with a platform to actively participate in these discussions and offer a fresh perspective.

I am now part of the Building Surveying Nation CPD Coordinators group, responsible for curating an exciting calendar of technical CPD events for our organization.

A supportive culture for women in construction

I’m truly thankful that my introduction to the construction industry has allowed me to cross paths with many determined and inspiring women.

At AtkinsRéalis we all work to create a culture that fosters true inclusivity and equality. This is evident in our Staff Networks, representing groups from women to LGBTQ+ and military to faith.

Studies often highlight that women tend to hesitate when opportunities don’t align perfectly with their qualifications, a tendency I’ve also noticed in myself, where I’ve often underestimated my own capabilities.

Particularly during my early years at university, I grappled with self-doubt and was set on a trajectory of achieving a low grade in my degree. However, everything changed during my placement year when I had the privilege of meeting several exceptional female role models.

They taught me a valuable lesson: the only limits that truly exist are the ones we impose on ourselves. The exposure to these incredible women ignited a newfound confidence in me, leading to accomplishments I had never thought possible, such as earning a first-class degree!

"I hope to one day be a leader at AtkinsRéalis as I know how integral role models can be, especially to those early in their careers.” –Emily Hoyes, Building Surveyor

Loving my hybrid work style

In recent years, my work routine has seen significant adjustments, with half of my working hours now being conducted remotely. Digital resources have become essential for my job and facilitating team communication. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that spending time with colleagues in the office is crucial for maintaining team morale and motivation!

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

My advice to aspiring building surveyors and women in construction

Embrace any opportunity that comes your way, and recognize the value of learning through real life experiences. Site visits are instrumental in your development and understanding.

Often, when reading into complex subjects and details, things can appear challenging to comprehend (trust me, I've experienced that too!). So, I encourage you to actively seek opportunities to observe these subjects in practice. And always remember, the more effort you invest, the greater the returns you'll receive!

Start your career with people who see you and want you to succeed. Explore placement opportunities at AtkinsRéalis. Discover more and browse live opportunities.