Tendai – Trainee Quantity Surveyor

Tendai registered with Women into Construction in Summer 2020 after watching a WiC and Hill Facebook Live Event.

Tendai joined the WiC Cambridgeshire programme and completed her L1 Health and Safety and CSCS tests to gain her CSCS card. The goal was to secure a work experience placement in Quantity Surveying, a discipline Tendai was interested in pursuing once she had completed her Economics degree.

A work experience placement was arranged with Hill, but then the second lockdown hit, and the placement was cancelled. Despite this, Tendai continued to engage with WiC, taking part in our “Diversifying our Workforce” digital conference as a future female talent voice, speaking to over 200 stakeholders about her aspirations.

As lockdowns continued to disrupt our practical work experience placements, WiC designed a remote mentoring programme to continue connecting participants to the industry. Tendai was matched with Louise Ratcliffe, Site Surveyor for Wates and they continued to meet digitally.

Following the successful remote mentoring with Wates, Tendai applied for their Graduate programme, with WiC offering interview support throughout the process. Tendai was successful and started as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor in September 2021.

Talking about her experience, Tendai says, “Women into Construction have been so fundamental for both my growth and confidence. Seeing and working with the women has been very inspirational and I was able to use this as motivation when I was looking for a graduate scheme. Shelley was able to provide me with support throughout the whole process and she always went and above and beyond for me and my development. Although Covid-19 delayed and stopped a few opportunities, I do believe everything happens for a reason. I never would’ve imagined being a Trainee Quantity Surveyor for one of the largest privately-owned construction, development and property services companies in the UK. Having not studied anything construction related I didn’t think I would be able to get a role as a Quantity Surveyor without having to go back to university. However, I want to let women out there know that it is possible regardless of your background to get into construction and that the sky is the limit! I am so excited to continue working with WiC and make a difference in the construction industry. I would encourage every woman wanting to pursue a career in construction to do it! I soon hope to create a social media account where I would showcase and give people an insight into my career and what my daily activities include.”

Louise Ratcliffe, Site Surveyor for Wates, who mentored Tendai adds, “It was a great opportunity to mentor Tendai and understand her career aspirations in Construction and share my experiences within the sector to date which hopefully refined Tendai’s view on the industry and widened her knowledge on the opportunities available. As a quantity surveyor myself it was good knowledge share on a pathway that I’m passionate about and a real reward to see Tendai succeed in securing her first QS role with Wates Construction. Undertaking mentoring has also been skill strengthening for myself and I would recommend anyone who has an interest to reach out to WiC as they have been great at facilitating the process.”

Shelley Lawrence, Project Manager for WiC Cambridgeshire, comments, “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Tendai. Her determination, passion and commitment absolutely shone through. I have no doubt that she will be successful in her position at Wates and as a great role model to others looking for their space in the industry. Huge congratulations, Tendai!”

For details on current Women into Construction programmes, visit our programmes page.