Spec Finish

www.thefis.org 15 Profile Women represent only 11% of the construction workforce in the UK. Here, we speak to the winner of the ‘Best Young Woman in Construction Award 2020’, Sophie Newcombe, Senior Design Manager at ISG plc, who is set to become an inspirational role model to help change all that. SOPHIE NEWCOMBE SENIOR DESIGN MANAGER AT ISG PLC C ONSTRUCTION is in Sophie’s DNA. She is the fourth generation of builders in her family – and the first woman. Sophie has worked for ISG plc for almost three years now; starting out as a freelance design manager before she was promoted to her current position of Senior Design Manager in the fit-out – agility sector. So how did it all start? “For as long as I can remember, I have been a ‘builder’. As a little girl I would design and create model houses and cities, huts in the woods and igloos in the snow. I was fascinated by my own ability to turn an idea into reality; finding it quietly magical to turn my imaginings into something physical and to understand that the possibilities were, therefore, endless. It is this feeling that has driven me throughout my career in construction; the joy of helping people create their dreams in the real world. When I was very young, I would jump in my dad’s work van and visit sites with him, I loved watching him build and he was always teaching me something. As soon as I understood the meaning of the word, I wanted to be an architect, and even in my early teenage years, I had aspirations of one day running my own construction company. I was very focused on this during school, selecting the right combination of art, technical drawing and physics to set me up for university.” “If we aren’t changing, we aren’t growing.”

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