International Women’s Day 2023

7th March 2023

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On 8th March each year, individuals, charities and companies worldwide mark International Women’s Day – a celebration of women and call to action in the fight for gender parity.


The built environment is still struggling with diversity. In the UK, for example, only 15% of the construction workforce is female. Soben recognises the collective work the industry still has ahead to redress the balance. We know we must be intentional about turning the tide in the industry and are working hard to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation.


Valuing inclusion

We believe that a diverse workforce, one that reflects the communities and clients we serve, creates better project outcomes. One of Soben’s core values is Inclusion – because it’s not enough just to build a diverse workforce, we are creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed, and has an opportunity to thrive. Like for so many in the industry, we acknowledge there is still work to be done, but we are proud of our progress to date. Globally, Soben is 25% female, of which 58% are in technical roles. We’re constantly looking at how we can improve these numbers, from the ways in which we attract, recruit and onboard diverse talent, to how we develop and support career progression.


Creating a place where everyone can thrive

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Equity – the recognition that each person has different circumstances, and needs different resources and opportunities to reach their potential. Equity doesn’t just mean supporting women – it means creating the right support environment for every individual to be able to fulfil their potential. At Soben, that means providing the flexibility each of our employees needs to work in a way that suits them, creating a place where people can be a successful construction professional and a mum, dad, carer, or whatever they need to be. It means encouraging flexibility, offering remote working, and role-modelling a healthy work-life balance. Equity means recognising and supporting the different needs of every one of our employees – creating a supportive environment, where everyone can thrive.

Attracting a diverse workforce is only the start. We’re also looking at ways to support the development of internal talent, so that people can build long and fulfilling careers with us. Soben is a young, fast-moving company, and with that comes plenty of opportunity for career development. In the past 12 months, we have promoted several women from within, including our second female board appointment, and now have 22% of our female employees in a Managerial or Leadership position.


Celebrating the talented women of Soben

This commitment to inclusion and equity means we’ve attracted a host of ambitious, talented women to work across our global business. So, this International Women’s Day we’re celebrating some of the incredible women of Soben – women forging careers in a typically male industry, whilst also being mothers, friends, daughters, carers, and so much more. We asked a selection of our female employees what it’s like to be a part of #TeamSoben. Here’s what they shared:


One of Soben’s values is inclusivity – what does this mean to you?


“Soben’s inclusivity speaks for itself. We have the most diverse group of employees from different parts of the world, working together.” Wilma Ankobiah, Assistant Cost Manager, North America:





“I am one of the youngest employees at Soben North America; Soben took a chance with me, and I have demonstrated my capabilities. That’s inclusivity; taking young people with different types of backgrounds and guiding them to become their best version. Soben is inclusive of other cultures and celebrates them. In the Americas we have a very diverse community, and we are very inclusive when it comes to our team. We often take the time to get to know each person and let them tell us a little bit of their culture and personality. You don’t get more inclusive than that!” Vanesa Carpenter, Admin Assistant, North America



“Inclusivity to me means when you feel valued and accepted in a team and wider organization, without having to conform.” Joana Mwakasungula, Managing Quantity Surveyor, UK







How has Soben helped you develop in your career?

“Before working at Soben, I spent 12 years in retail. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but what I did know was that retail was not it. I spent most of the pandemic on furlough, which left me with a lot of time to think. I decided I needed a change, so I started looking at different options. Going back to studying had never really crossed my mind before, as I felt “too old” to do so. However, I set myself a task and I decided to apply for a college course in Quantity Surveying. During the course, I set out to find work within the industry and get myself out of retail once and for all. But application after application, I wasn’t getting anywhere. This time last year, I got talking to EMEA Managing Director, Andrew Gallagher. He gave me his email address and told me to contact him. Fast forward to now and I have been with Soben for around 11 months. I will be finishing my college course in the next few months and heading to university. Andrew, very kindly, took a chance on me that day and I have never looked back! I am excited to see what the future holds and where my career with Soben leads to.” Jennifer Stewart, Trainee Quantity Surveyor, UK


“Working for Soben for the past year has been an incredible journey and in a short time I was recognised for my efforts with my promotion. I appreciate how Soben invests in their employees and encourages their growth. Soben recognises and rewards effort and, as employees, that is all we ask. The opportunity exists, and it is up to you to capitalise on it.” Samiya Omar, Human Resources Officer, UK




“Soben has given me an incredible opportunity to build on the experiences I had and elevate them. I started in September 2022 following a few months off after the birth of my first child. It has been one of the best work experiences I have ever had. I’m learning every single day from professionals from all walks of life. I’m extremely grateful for the work-life balance Soben provides me to be a mom and a professional. I love that I get to do both simultaneously. I’m forever grateful to Soben and my manager for this opportunity!” Anika Faisal, Assistant Cost Consultant, North America


“Soben has helped me to have a work-personal life balance by providing a remote position that is flexible around my family’s needs. My son competes around the country and at times I need to work from different locations. Soben supports me with a remote position, so that I can continue to support my son as he pursues his passion.” Taryn Buckman, Regional Financial Controller, Americas





What’s it like to be a part of #TeamSoben?

“It’s almost been 2 years since I started with the company, and I have enjoyed most of every day working here. I love how close we are, since everyone works remotely. I love the support we provide to each other on challenging days and being able to be genuinely happy for the teammates achieving milestones, without prejudice. Although it has been only 2 years, I hope there are many more to come for me within the company!” Leyla McIntyre, Senior Project Controls Manager, N America



“My journey with Soben has been a fulfilling experience. I have been here for just over a year and I have achieved my first career goal by being promoted to Client Talent Partner. Soben also allows room for a healthy work life balance, I have been able to work from home which has allowed me to experience all of my son’s major milestones such as his first steps during a meeting with the rest of the talent team. Soben has created an inclusive and dynamic way of working and I am proud to be a woman, mother, and professional who is a part of the Soben family.” Leonie Kerr, Client Talent Partner UK



“I’ve been a part of #TeamSoben for a few weeks now, and I feel part of the furniture already. In my time so far, I feel like I am learning so much about the industry as well as expanding my marketing skillset. Having a manager and team who are approachable, knowledgeable, and patient enough to teach me is what makes being part of Team Soben so great. We spend 38+ hours a week at work, so it’s important to me that I enjoy the work I do, who I work with and I’m able to switch off when not working. Soben offers the best work-life balance to do this and more.” Helena Mubiru, Marketing Manager EMEA



Do you have any advice for women considering a career in construction?

“Don’t limit yourself. Exposing yourself to various industries, roles and experiences can lead you to a position you never thought you’d enjoy, but it may just be the right fit.” Rachel Striz, Senior Project Controls Manager, N America






“Working in construction, you know that what you do can improve the quality of people’s lives. There are many career paths in construction, just make sure that you choose one you are passionate about.” Dr Bonahis Oko, Head of Sustainability





“Construction can be challenging but also extremely rewarding. It provides an opportunity to bring a different perspective and the opportunities for leadership and growth are endless.” Ana Liesch, HR Director, Americas




“The best advice someone gave me at the beginning of my career is: be direct, honest and hard-working. That is what most people respect, and that is what they will respond to.” Andrea Rodriguez, Assistant Cost Manager, Mexico





Inspired by our incredible women and considering a career in construction? Check out our open roles at

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