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We would like to invite you to read an interview with Agnieszka Głowaca, Vice-President of Erbud, which was published in March 2023. The author of the article is Kuba Dobroszek. Below is a part of the article translated into English and a link to the full original text:

„Are people surprised to see a woman at a construction site?

I've been in construction for 25 years and sometimes I forget that someone else might be surprised to see a woman wearing a helmet. But our construction girls, even the younger ones, say they encounter it surprisingly often. What's sad is that it accompanies them throughout their lives. First at school, where stereotypically 90 per cent of the class is male. Then at home, when they announce to their parents that they are going to the polytechnic and see their big eyes. They would buy them those pink vacuum cleaners, send them to the ballet, make dumplings with their grandmothers, and here, suddenly, a shock and "polytechnic"? That's where all those texts come from: "And you want to throw bricks?", "Girl, that's not the job for you", "Will you sit with the farmers on the construction site? Gives you the wings, doesn't it?

Or some even motivate.

Then these girls would come to university and usually graduate with good results - it's an interesting statistic that there may be "35 per cent of women in technical universities, but the percentage is already increasing in the case of graduation. That shows their determination, so maybe they were really motivated. After graduation, they would go to the site and the old foreman would say, "Woman  won't tell me".

Is this what happens at your company?

We have equal treatment policies, zero tolerance for discrimination, whistleblower programmes, and we have me and many other women in senior positions - that's already more than 20 per cent of management, with 97 per cent equal pay. But of course, cases like this probably still happen, because procedures are procedures and mentality is mentality. This has always been a mahogany-patriarchal industry, and we're not going to change the outlook of all 3,000 Erbud employees and tens of thousands of construction workers across the country overnight. What I do know is that things are a lot better than they were a decade ago, and the construction industry is a much better place to work. It has become corporatised in a good way.

How would you encourage women to work in construction?

I'm going to be unromantic and start with salaries. After IT, we are the second highest paid industry with the greatest shortage of staff. Engineers, project managers, contract managers - these are excellent jobs for a woman, construction management is the work of a manager who has to keep an eye on costs, manage teams, meet deadlines. It doesn't require biceps and brawn, because it's a mental job, we are a general contractor, which means that on the construction site we mainly offer supervision. Finally, and most importantly, our work has a real, tangible, lasting impact. We are not talking about "bullshit jobs", but about the fact that every time a woman walks through Warsaw she can say, when she sees the Koszyki Hall or the Młociny Gallery, "Yes, I built it". That gives a feeling of pride. And it's certainly more interesting than typing on a keyboard in the IT industry, although that is becoming increasingly popular.

What to tell your daughter to spark her interest in the construction industry?

Buy the book "Klara builds" - all proceeds go to the ERBUD Foundation account. And in May, take her to a construction workshop at the Copernicus Science Centre to build with miniature bricks and get dirty in cement. And in 20 years we will invite her for an internship at Erbud (laughs). She won't regret it.”


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