In the Spotlight, Adrienne Kenny, Operator – Celebrating Women at Flannery

I started working for Flannery in November 2017 after working alongside them for two years in Aberdeen. As soon as I saw the professional way in which Flannery operated, I knew I wanted to be part of it. They were way ahead of any other company I had encountered in terms of productivity, health and safety and the quality of their plant.

When I started my journey in the construction industry just over two years ago, I was completely unaware of the opportunities ahead of me. The industry was a far distance from my experience working in a local supermarket, earning a minimum wage back in Ireland. I hadn’t grown up in or around the industry and I hadn’t even considered what a career on-site would be like. It wasn’t until one of my close friends took the leap and completed her CPCS training on the Ride on Roller, that the thought of becoming an operator even crossed my mind.

She secured work immediately and encouraged me to follow suit. Surely not! I don’t have the slightest clue about machinery and site work. But she was persistent and assured me that I could do it too!

She was right! Four months later I finally got the courage to undergo CPCS training on the Ride on Roller, and to my surprise, I passed first time.

Two months later, having moved to Aberdeen and still very anxious about my prospects of going on-site, I secured a job on a 13 tonne Roller. I gained knowledge and experience under some of the best operators, who I am pleased to say will now be my mentors and friends for life.

A year later, I had gained enough experience to go for my Dump Truck CPCS card. I was on a roll and breaking down any barriers that stood in my way! To any woman out there who are tempted to start a career in the construction industry I would tell them to absolutely do it! The industry can open so many doors for anyone considering a career change. It is the most challenging and rewarding job I have had and offers me the best wage I have had too.

I am now studying my NEBOSH Health and Safety in Construction which I hope will open even more doors and give me the opportunity to break down more barriers.

Like with any industry, a career in construction has its shortfalls. The work often comes with long hours and spouts away from home. But overall, I live a well balanced life even when working twelve hours a day. I still manage to keep fit in the gym and keep up a great social life on the weekends, even if I’m working. Getting into a routine is the key to success in this game and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every aspect of the job is worth it especially at the end of the week!

I am now working for Flannery on the A14 in Cambridge. Both the A14 Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) and Flannery Plant Hire have embraced women on the project. Whether you are a machine operator, engineer, health and safety advisor or works manager, the project feels so inclusive. I feel that projects like this will continue to positively change attitudes towards women in the sector and create a more diverse workforce.

So what’s the next step for me? I have set my sights on the Dozer.. my absolute favourite machine. It will take a while to get the hang of it, but practice makes perfect and there is nothing stopping me now!