Women in Plant working group established at the Scottish Plant Owners Association

The Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA) has established a Women in Plant working group to better represent the interests of women in plant and work towards further improving the industry and attracting more women to the plant industry.

The working group will be co-chaired by Immediate SPOA Past President, Callum Mackintosh, and Gail McEwen, Director and Lead Trainer at Setting Out For Construction. Gail has a wealth of experience in construction both in the UK as well as Australia. A well-respected figure in the industry, Gail is a plant operator, civil engineer, an approved trainer for the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and is currently completing a PhD at Glasgow Caledonian University. Gail is joined by Charlie MacGregor, Zaya McMillan-Grant, Carly Sommerville and Laura  McKechnie.

The Women in Plant working group has published its priorities for the year which include promoting understanding of issues which affect women in construction – most notably in the areas of health and wellbeing; supporting women with training opportunities to advance their careers; and creating engaging content to inspire young females to consider a career in the plant industry.

Speaking about the Women in Plant working group, Gail McEwen said: “I am delighted to be involved in this initiative. I have been championing women in industry for a long time now, but we are more powerful when we join forces. In many ways, the industry has progressed so much since I first started 15 years ago and that is really heartening. I heard from my peers that they were happy in their jobs, felt supported and respected and saw a path to career progression.

“However, there are other challenges that still remain, ranging from health and well-being concerns to basic amenities like toilet facilities on a construction site. Additionally, there is an underrepresentation of women in managerial positions. While strides have been made to increase the number of women in senior roles, it's crucial that these appointments are not seen as mere tokens but are made with the intention of gaining meaningful insights to enhance career opportunities for women in the field.

“I’d like to thank and acknowledge the SPOA for taking such a proactive approach and encouraging women to be part of shaping this industry.”

Gail McEwen.JPGGail McEwen

Callum Mackintosh added: “This is a significant milestone for the SPOA. We now have a working group made up of women who each bring different skills and experience but who are all passionate about promoting careers for women in the plant industry.”

The Women in Plant working group will meet frequently throughout the year and will also organise events that will be open to all women in the industry. Any woman in the plant industry wishing to highlight an issue they would like support on or simply to find out more about what is planned is encouraged to contact wip@spoa.org.uk

Back to SPOA News


* indicates required