Chiara Cresti is a 24-year-old Italian student who has developed her interest in the field of construction during the high school counselling back in 2013. She had the opportunity to learn theoretical information and to take part in an arch construction workshop organised by IIPLE, one of Icaro’s consortium partners.

After enrolling at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Bologna, she had again the chance to test her interest by participating in a second workshop in IIPLE.

Mara Corbella, Project Manager at IIPLE, interviewed Chiara Cresti about the inclusiveness in the construction sector. 

Mara Corbella: What is your academic and/or professional background?  And how many years of work experience/study do you have?
Chiara Cresti: I have a high school diploma with a specialization in surveying, I am currently enrolled in Engineering for the environment and the territory and I am attending the IFTS course (meaning: Higher Technical Education and Training) of ‘Technical programming and digital management of the construction site for the recovery of existing assets’. In the last two years, I worked in IIPLE within the CPTO division (meaning: Joint Territorial Operating Committee); I started with the national civil service programme and now I am continuing my experience with a fixed-term contract.

MC: Why did you choose to study subjects related to the construction sector?
CC: I chose the construction sector because I find it an inspiring sector where it is possible to gain experience in many different areas.

MC: How many women are currently attending your course?
CC: The IFTS training course is attended by 13 women and 9 men. In my university course, instead, men and women are equally represented.

MC: In your opinion is the career path in construction different for men and women? if yes why?
CC: The career path itself has no differences for men and women, but I find that there are some prejudices, especially coming from not young and less-educated men towards women.

MC: Are there job profiles more suitable for men and/or women?
CC: Not in my view. Each person has different personal characteristics regardless of gender and I believe that everyone should try to find a profession in which they can succeed, no matter the field.

MC: Do you think that media (or society in general) have a sort of influence in choosing a career path?
CC: Yes, if you are easily influenced by other people.

MC: Have you experienced discrimination episodes based on your gender, age, or other reasons?
CC: No, it never happened to me.

MC: What advice would you give to construction companies to make a more inclusive workplace? And to women looking for a job in this field?
CC: In order to create a more inclusive workplace, I believe that we need to change the view that society in general has of women in certain fields of work. I think it is important to hire a person for her/his qualities and skills without considering gender, age, or any discriminatory element. To a woman looking for a job in this field, I recommend not to listen to the judgments that other people have and to go ahead on her own path giving her best.