100 for 100 Series: Ambika Tah | Wates

100 for 100 Series: Ambika Tah

“Be resilient, make things happen and don’t sell yourself short.”

Equality of opportunity for everyone is essential for businesses to thrive. For 2019 International Woman’s Day,  Ambika Tah shares what #balanceforbetter means to her.

How long have you been in your current role?

1 year, prior to this I was in the Preconstruction department working in Bid, Estimating, Design and Planning.

 What brought you to Wates?

I studied Geography at University and when I graduated I initially thought I would go into teaching however I was open minded about working in other industries, so when I saw an advert for the Wates Graduate programme I decided to apply for the Production Management scheme.

The advert focussed on attracting a people person who could work effectively in teams, problem solve and influence, something which I felt I had a natural ability for, it stated the technical knowledge would be learnt while working and studying for a construction related qualification which Wates would support.

What advice would you give to women entering the industry?

Do your research, there are a variety of roles available in the industry both office and site based, if you are clear on what you want you will find supporters in and outside your company who will want to help you. Be resilient, make things happen and don’t sell yourself short!

Who are your role models?

Amal Clooney, a Lebanese-British barrister who represents the United Nations specialising in public international law, international criminal law and human rights.

Not only is she an intelligent, well educated, ambitious woman who has achieved great success in her industry, she is also a feminist, style icon and married to George Clooney, using her position to positively influence society.

Tell us something unusual about you   

My 2018 challenge was to learn to swim and although I’m still not a confident swimmer I am more comfortable in water and can swim a few lengths unaided.

What changes would you like to see in 100 years time?

The past 100 years has seen so much social and environmental progression I’m excited to see it continue, many women I have worked with don’t realise they are pioneers in the construction industry and have paved the way for my generation.

I would love to see more women in senior positions across all industries, celebrated for excelling in their field, confident in their ability and role models for the next generation without feeling motherhood would comprise their success.

I would also like to see men and senior management using their position of influence to support change and recognise inequality, this bold style of leadership is inspiring and innovative and will lead to a healthier industry socially and economically.