Antonio Tola is a 24-year-old Italian entrepreneur in the construction field. Following a family tradition, Antonio has worked at his father’s small construction company, while attending his training path at IIPLE. This experience allowed him to observe and learn in the field and inspired him to start his own business, once concluded the IeFP course (qualification as an expert bricklayer – 3 years EQF 4). In the last two years, he has been working as a self-employed in the field of industrial renovation.

In September 2020, he started to teach in practical labs and field testing in the same course he attended at IIPLE. This experience has been incredibly inspiring and rewarding for him, as it has allowed him to exploit both his theoretical knowledge and practical skills acquired on daily work experiences.

Mara Corbella, Project Manager at IIPLE, had the chance to interview Antonio Tola on behalf of the Icaro team.

Mara Corbella: What is your academic and/or professional background?

Antonio Tola: In 2018 I have concluded my training path at IIPLE and obtained the IeFP diploma (meaning: vocational qualification and diploma).

MC: Why did you choose to study subjects related to the construction sector?
AT: I developed a passion for the field of building construction since I was young because my father and family were involved in our construction company, and this has transmitted me the interest in this sector.

MC: How many women were attending your course?
AT: When I was attending the IeFP course at IIPLE, in my class we were only men.

MC: In your opinion is the career path in construction different for men and women? if yes why?
AT: In this sector, it is more difficult for women because there are several prejudices. Personally, I think that women have the same potentials as men in the construction industry. Maybe, in addition, they demonstrate more sensitivity in specific areas as decoration and finishing.

MC: Are there job profiles more suitable for men and/or women?
I don’t have prejudices but it’s true that some tasks are more adequate, from a physical strength point of view, to men.

MC: Do you think that media (or society in general) have a sort of influence in choosing a career path?
AT: Yes, social media have a great impact on people.

MC: Have you experienced discrimination episodes based on your gender, age, or other reasons?
AT: 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?
AT: It is fundamental to try, insist and schedule many job interviews; the construction industry has a lot to offer but is not easy to start from zero in this field. There are many prejudices, not only towards women but also towards young and inexperienced people. I suggest to young Italians to approach construction because it is a challenging sector that can offer career opportunities to young people, including girls.