For Women’s History Month (1 – 31 March), we look back on some of the great female firsts in construction. These achievements are the building blocks for today’s women to realise their potential and succeed in their chosen role.
Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676) was the first woman to take on an active role in a building project, controlling the designs and building programme for the improvements to her Westmorland estates. Nice one Lady Ann!
Around 1701, Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham produced the earliest architectural drawings known to be by a woman, for the rebuilding of St Andrew’s church in Staffordshire. Could your drawings turn into the next architectural master piece?
Sarah Guppy contributed to the design of Britain's infrastructure, and in 1811 she patented the first of her inventions, a method of making safe piling for bridges. Although, she gave the design away for free as she believed women shouldn’t be “too boastful”. Would she have been so modest now?
In 1929-32, Elisabeth Scott was the first female architect to win an international architecture competition for her design of the rebuild of the Shakespeare Memorial Centre (now the Royal Shakespeare Theatre) in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Waterloo Bridge is also known as ‘Ladies Bridge,’ as it was constructed by around 350 women during WWII. Remember this the next time you walk over the bridge.
Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950, London-based architect Zaha Hadid won the 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize — the first woman ever to receive architecture's highest honour! Zaha sadly passed away in 2016, but her legacy and impact on the architecture world lives on.
Check out our previous blog posts on women in construction and see if working in the industry could be for you!