CIF Construction Magazine recently spoke to Giedre Visockaite, as part of their special feature on ‘Championing Women in Construction in 2022’.
Click here to read the article in pdf format.
Originally from Lithuania, Giedre Visockaite is Associate Director of Strategy and Marketing with Kirby Group Engineering.
In the 10 years since joining Kirby – something she says was a steep but valuable learning curve into an exciting and fast-moving industry – Visockaite has seen first-hand how business gets done in the construction sector.
“I did my Masters Dissertation in Maynooth University,” she says.
“My research project focused on Kirby Group Engineering and upon completion I was offered a job at Kirby as Graduate Strategy and Innovation Analyst.
“My role entailed developing strategic performance and innovation management systems for the business – which was quite a progressive area for an engineering and construction company to invest in at the time,” she says.
“Because of the nature on my role, I worked with then Group Managing Director Jimmy Kirby and other board directors from day one, which exposed me to the entire business and helped me understand the depths of the industry and how it operates very early on in my career.”
Having moved to Ireland 20 years ago and now based in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Visockaite has been two years in her current role at Kirby where current projects include Renewable Energy, Life Sciences and Data Centre works.
Having joined Kirby as a graduate being promoted to Associate Director eight years later was an especially proud moment. “Becoming a part of the Senior Management Team in such a short period of time was a huge achievement for me, especially as a young non-Irish woman.
“The day I got the keys to my own home is a close second when it comes to my proudest moment. It’s a privilege I was able to achieve through my own hard work. I was always determined to succeed,” she adds.
“When I joined the business 10 years ago, there were very few foreign nationals and female colleagues.
“There has been a lot of progress made in the last number of years. Kirby currently employs 30 different nationalities across nine jurisdictions and says its number of female employees is rapidly growing.
The company has set up bursaries with a number of leading third-level institutions that encourage women to complete engineering qualifications.
“I love to travel and I am grateful that my job entails an element of that,” Visockaite says. “I have visited the majority of European countries and further afield as part of my role within Kirby.
“I also really like cars and enjoy driving. I have been to Mondello Park and various karting experiences.
“I am planning to go to Formula 1 races, hopefully soon but I will just be spectating!,” she jokes.
“When I joined Kirby, I was given an opportunity to demonstrate the value I can bring to the business, which has enabled me to progress to where I am today,” she adds.
“I’ve enjoyed brilliant support and opportunities including structured career progression, travel, rewards and technologically exciting projects.
“Since I joined the business, it has undergone significant growth – last year we recorded a €400 million turnover and geographically we have expanded to cover nine countries across the European Mainland.
“To be part of a team that’s growing so fast has been an amazing experience.
“The industry itself is advancing and growing very quickly and that brings opportunities for people who are seeking them.”
What big change would benefit women in the industry?
Education is a major part of what needs to be done to encourage more women to take on a career in construction. I would like to see young women at second and third level education learning more about what opportunities there are and could be in the future. I recently joined the Women in Construction steering group, which aims to improve the construction site of the future to include more women. I hope that together we can make an impact and encourage more young women to join this industry. Also we hear a lot at the moment about people changing careers and I would encourage women looking for something different to consider construction. There are so many roles to consider, from operations (management, engineering, administration) to support function roles (quantity surveying, estimating, finance, sales, marketing and HR).
View CIF Construction Magazine, March 2022 issue in pdf format here: https://www.flipsnack.com/cifconstruction/cif-construction-magazine-march-2022/full-view.html