SHE BUILDS UK shines a light on the lack of female representation in the UK construction industry and millions of people are missing out in the rewarding careers that the sector has to offer!

Photography exhibition launch event: Tuesday, 16th May 2023 at The Building Centre in London (open to the public from 17th May - 31st May) 

A project that uses portrait photography and written profiles of female construction professionals from across the UK’s construction industry to bring the subject of the lack of gender diversity in that industry sharply into focus.

Gender diversity in the UK’s construction industry is extremely poor. According to the Office for National Statistics, the percentage of women in the industry is just 14% - and that figure has barely changed in 20 years. This has arguably created a systemic view across sections of society that the construction industry is ‘for’ men only and millions of people are missing out in the rewarding careers that the sector has to offer. 

SHE BUILDS UK is using portrait photography to shine a light on female role models from within the construction industry, highlighting their stories, their challenges and their successes to inspire others to join and learn more about opportunities available within the industry. 

SHE BUILDS UK is the brainchild of Neil Perry, a professional photographer of architecture, design and the wider built environment. When Neil explained to his seven-year-old daughter Jessie that she could do any job she wanted to when she had grown up, Jessie replied “I can’t be a builder. Only men are builders”. This statement led Neil to think about how he could combine his role as a professional photographer with his professional connections to make a difference to the mindset that Jessie had formed. The project is led and owned by Neil, with lead partners Aecom and Bechtel providing funding support and driving the legacy programme.

From Neil, “Any parent knows the responsibility that comes with the role. But I believe being a dad to a daughter increases that level of responsibility - it’s possibly given me my first real understanding of some of the challenges females have to face in life. Equally, through my work I have met women in roles that I know they have worked hard to break down barriers for. And it’s these individuals that I want to bring to the surface and shine a light on. For Jessie and her peers. I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a world where misconceptions limit the career she chooses.”

You can find more information about SHE BUILDS UK on the project’s website:

If you’d like to take part you can do so by signing the project's commitment statement and selecting a shoot date here

If you’d like to offer support or help of any kind you can do so by contacting Neil directly: Email Neil.


About Bechtel 

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place.  

Bechtel serves the Energy; Infrastructure; Manufacturing & Technology; Mining & Metals; and Nuclear, Security & Environmental markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations 



AECOM is the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from advisory, planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, new energy and the environment, our public- and private-sector clients trust us to solve their most complex challenges. Our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world through our unrivaled technical and digital expertise, a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and its Professional Services business had revenue of $13.1 billion in fiscal year 2022. See how we are delivering sustainable legacies for generations to come at and @AECOM.

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