The Icaro project’s interviews on inclusiveness in the construction sector continue. The coordinator Rossella Martino interviewed Francesca Gasparini, a restorer who started working thanks to a regional vocational course and has never stopped being in the sector since then.
Rossella Martino: What is your academic and professional background? How old are you? And how many years of work experience?
Francesca Gasparini: I studied at the “Liceo artistico” (in Italy: high school with specialisation in art subjects), then I trained on a course on restoration organised by the Lombardy region; I am 41 years old, and I have been working in the sector for 19 years.
RM: What made you decide to study subjects related to the construction sector?
FG: I fell into the big restoration sites by chance, because there was much more work to do there.
RM: Do you think the career path in construction is different for men and women? If so, why?
FG: They have different career paths. There are fewer women entrepreneurs, while the male ones, since they are men, will choose other men.
RM: In your opinion, is the career path in construction different for men and women? If so, why?
FG: Yes, men are stronger, although nowadays technology is helping us, and I’ve personally done “male” jobs and tasks.
RM: Do you think the media (or society in general) has some sort of influence on your choice of a career path?
FG: Of course, the image of women in the media is not congruent with work in the construction sector.
RM: Have you experienced incidents of discrimination based on your gender, age, or other reasons?
FG: Yes, many due to stereotypes, especially at a technical level.
RM: What advice would you give to construction companies to make a more inclusive workplace? And to women looking for a job in this field?
FG: Ignoring prejudices is important, especially when you see men revising their own positions.