Celebrating International Women’s Day: pioneering innovation and shaping a sustainable future in construction

In honour of International Women’s Day, the SNUG project takes a moment to celebrate the remarkable contributions of women in the innovation domain, particularly their transformative impact on the construction industry. These visionary women are playing an important role in reshaping the landscape of architecture and engineering, propelling us towards a future where buildings seamlessly integrate with the environment. 

Historically, there has been a notable lack of representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Despite recent strides, comprehensive studies and reports from esteemed sources like the European Commission, the European Institute for Gender Equality, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and leading international academic journals reveal persistently low female participation in STEM disciplines across Europe. According to these entities, approximately 30% of researchers in the European Union are women, underscoring the existing gender disparity. This gap is particularly glaring in certain sectors such as engineering and computer science, where only around 15% of professionals are women, highlighting the need for ongoing efforts to promote gender diversity and inclusivity in STEM fields. 

However, women in the construction industry have been hidden pioneers, silently driving innovation from behind the scenes and challenging prevailing gender stereotypes to achieve notable progress. In the realm of architecture, trailblazers such as Zaha Hadid and Maya Lin have not merely shattered the glass ceiling but left an enduring imprint on the global landscape through their revolutionary designs. Meanwhile, women engineers have showcased excellence across diverse disciplines, spanning from structural engineering to sustainable design, where their adept problem-solving skills and creative thinking have significantly contributed to the advancement of the field. Some noteworthy figures include Roma Agrawal, Elsie Eaves and Emily Warren Roebling. These women have not only defied societal expectations but have become instrumental forces in reshaping the trajectory of innovation in construction. 

Image credits: Canva Pro

The women behind the SNUG project are playing an important role in steering the construction industry towards sustainability, particularly in the transition to Zero-Energy Buildings (ZEBs). In the realm of sustainable building construction, female engineers, architects, managers and researchers are taking part in the creation of structures and materials that seamlessly blend aesthetics with environmental consciousness, prioritizing energy efficiency. On the engineering front, the women from SNUG are leading the charge in the development of groundbreaking construction techniques aimed at minimizing waste and reducing the carbon footprint. Their involvement spans modular construction, 3D printing, and various sustainable technologies.  

Furthermore, a significant number of women within the construction sector actively engage in advocating for and implementing green building certifications, advancing the global movement for more sustainable urban development. As women continue to drive innovation, their multifaceted contributions are forging a future where sustainability is at the forefront of construction practices. 

During the month of March, SNUG is giving a voice to the women working in the project through a weekly social media campaign, where we want to highlight their important contributions. 

👷‍♀️👩‍🔬 👩‍💻 Empowering the future: 

As we celebrate the achievements of women in the construction and innovation sectors, it is essential to recognize the importance of empowering the next generation of female leaders. Initiatives promoting STEM education for girls and fostering inclusivity within the industry are crucial steps towards building a diverse and sustainable future. 

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