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Izzy Walsh Case Study

Izzy is a trainee manufacturing manager at Ibstock. She joined just over a year ago, after working with the University of Derby to apply for apprenticeships in the construction industry.
Photo of Izzy Walsh

When choosing what industry she wanted to join, Izzy picked construction because of, not despite its reputation as male-dominated. She comes from a family of men with links to the industry and Izzy decided that she “wanted to follow in their footsteps, but in my own way. I wanted to go against the grain and challenge myself.”

Reflecting back on when she first joined Ibstock, Izzy says: “It was completely different to what I expected. Although it took a while to build relationships with people, that can be expected in every new job, and I quickly realised you don’t have to be a man in our industry.”

“Sometimes its your own perceptions that can get in your way,” Izzy notes of her first year in the construction industry, and how important its been to have structures in place that can support with that: “Ibstock really prioritises equity, diversion and inclusion and the team dedicated to this play an active role day to day. As women it feels we are just part of the team, not an exception.”

But Izzy recognises there is still a way to go for many women in the industry, saying that “cross-industry collaboration is going to be huge in raising the standard of EDI for everyone, we need that platform to help guide teams and our leadership at an industry level. That’s why I’m so proud Ibstock has joined the Construction Inclusion Coalition.”

One thing she hopes to see in the future, is that a career in the construction industry is opened up to girls from a young age: “It needs to be more widely spoken about even from a primary school-age. That’s where misconceptions begin, and if it wasn’t for my own experiences as a trainee in construction, I wouldn’t have known about all the opportunities out there for women in our industry.”

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