The 2021 Great British Businesswoman Awards finalist and The Apprentice finalist, Michaela Wain, Managing Director, Design and Build UK is urging women to build “a legacy” in the construction industry.

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Michaela has now been in the industry for over 20 years and explains that she “fell into it accidentally” after she took a year out from Liverpool University and ended up working for another construction magazine.

However, it wasn’t an easy rise, as she was faced with a number of challenges along the way as she took on the male-dominated industry.  For example, she has spoken out about hitting a “glass ceiling” when applying for a job and being told, “they wanted an older man” despite her turning the business turnover from £6,000 a month to £100,000.

She didn’t let this knockback affect her, and 12 years ago she stepped out on her own to develop Design and Build UK, which is now the UK’s largest online and printed construction magazine and marketing and media company. Michaela now owns five construction-related companies, is running her own podcast and just hosted the first-ever Women in Construction awards last month.

She is now using her experience and knowledge of the disparity in the industry to encourage those women who have a passion for construction, to join the industry and fight back against gender bias.

Speaking out recently Michaela discussed her latest venture, Women in Construction Awards and why it is so important to her. 

“The thing I am most proud of is starting a business, loving my sons more and respecting myself more, understanding my worth and doing it on my own. I think everyone needs to understand their own values.”

With only 15% of women working in construction in the UK, Michaela organised the first Women in Construction awards to pay tribute to currently successful female construction workers and their allies.

“I did all I did when I was young and I didn’t have any role models when it came to business, so I really take inspiration from the next generation…those women who are going onto construction sites, who are being discriminated against daily and hitting glass ceilings.

“Those who are changing the course of their own lives by having the guts and going on to do something different. Anybody who is willing to try and make a change, go against the grain,” Michaela concluded.

And that is exactly what we stand for here at the Great British Businesswoman Awards. We’re proud to see one of our finalists continuing the fight for gender parity in these male-dominated industries and encouraging more and more women to do what they love - we look forward to what is to come for Michaela. 

Read more about Michaela and her fight for women in the construction industry here.

Check out some of the most inspiring Women in Construction in 2022 in our Great British Businesswomen Awards shortlist here

Looking to celebrate these women with us? Book your tickets to the awards show here.