Maidstone mum shortlisted in Top 100 Influential Women in Construction Awards

October 14, 2022

A local construction worker has been shortlisted for a top national award recognising the most influential women in the industry.

Emma Cain, a shovel driver and general operative for sustainable building materials and construction solutions business Tarmac, is in line for a Top 100 Influential Women in Construction Award in the One to Watch category.

Organised by The National Federation of Builders, the awards aim to showcase the most influential women and non-binary role models in construction, as well as allies affecting change. The One to Watch category celebrates individuals that are relatively new to the industry and blazing a trail in championing equality, diversity and inclusion within the construction industry.

Emma has worked for Tarmac since 2019. She plays a vital role in supporting operations at the business’ quarry in Sevenoaks, Kent, where the main products produced are sand and gravel which support a wide range of local and regional construction projects. A qualified shovel driver, Emma is charged with operating a 24-tonne shovel, capable of shifting and lifting great mounds of sand and rock.

A stark contrast to her previous career in social work, Emma also supports the site’s weighbridge – from which vehicles are loaded with materials ready for their onwards journey supplying the construction industry.

She said: “I never previously had a passion for anything nor had the opportunity to work my way up whereas, here at Tarmac, I absolutely love my job. I really enjoy coming to work and love what I am doing.”

While Emma recognises that she is in the minority of women in construction, she is confident that the perception of women in operational roles is changing. She is also providing ongoing support and guidance to Tarmac as the business seeks to attract more female talent.

A mum to Poppy, aged two, she added: “People don’t appreciate there are so many different aspects of the business, and they don’t think of women working in the industry – except in the back office. They don’t realise women work on the front line too.

“I feel very proud of what I’m doing. It’s nice to see that times are changing and that women are getting out there and doing what was once perceived as an exclusively male job. I want to show my daughter that you can achieve whatever you want.”

The Top 100 Influential Women in Construction winners are set to be revealed at a ceremony and gala dinner on Thursday 27 October at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester.