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Coventry student wants to change the face of construction

A Coventry University student, who is the only female studying construction management, wants more women to work in construction

Posted by Lucinda Reid | August 21, 2017 | People, policy, politics, money

Damilola Ola, 19, became the only female fresher studying Construction Management at Coventry University after making the choice through Clearing.

The teenager was also one of 30 students to win the university’s Ada Lovelace scholarship, funded by Tata Technologies, which encourages women to pursue science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

Damilola, from Northfield, Birmingham, said, “I’m the only woman on my course but that makes me stand out in a positive way. I want to be noticed and to make changes – by talking to younger people I can start in a small way. Construction management was the only course I had in mind during the Clearing process. I was panicking, at first, because I had no idea of where to begin. My results were not what I had expected, so I was unsure if I would get a place at a university.”

We go around construction sites and offices and there are virtually no women to be seen but there’s no reason for it to be like that

“I had no choice but to call as many universities as I could find who offered the course, and there weren’t many,” continued Damilola. “After calling around, Coventry stood out. Not only was it in an ideal location, the modules of the course also looked enjoyable. Now we go around construction sites and offices and there are virtually no women to be seen but there’s no reason for it to be like that.”

Ian Dunn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Coventry University added, “With Coventry’s history being rooted in engineering it seems only right that we look to securing the next generation of inspiring leaders in the city. We are really proud of our Ada Lovelace scholarship and the talent that it promotes. All the work being done to encourage more women into science and technology is hugely important.”

Damilola is the first in her family to go to university, and now only female in her year on Coventry’s Construction Management BSc.

UCAS figures show that, across all universities last year only 450 women were accepted to full-time building degree courses, compared with 2,380 men. This year Coventry University has also launched a bursary, funded by National Express Group, for men taking its nursing and healthcare courses. Men make up only 10 per cent of students studying nursing across all UK universities. 

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