International Women's Day: #choosetochallenge

08 Mar 2021

Today we are celebrating International Women’s day and all of the fantastic women that are leading the way in the built environment! Here are some of the CSIC team and board members showcasing their fantastic careers, advice and contribution to the success of the built environment.


Emma Marriot, Founder, Emma Marriott Consulting

Working on a consultancy basis has allowed me to use my skills and experience to effect change in the construction industry and beyond.  As a leader in business, I bring an understanding of people in navigating change, modern methods of working, engaging with individuals and teams to identify their potential and help leaders create a culture where people will thrive and ultimately gain competitive advantage.

I am proud to have been trusted by a wide variety of firms who have not only retained key talent in their business but have improved their job design, operating models and increased their productivity and profit as a result.

I have the freedom to focus on my professional development in the little spare time I have - the availability of learning resources has been incredible through lockdown through organisations such as CSIC, LinkedIn, Napier Uni, Equate, Women In Property and beyond.

The construction industry is evolving - from a diversity, digital and environmental perspective it is a great time to get involved and move it on!


Anne Johnstone, Founder, Fair Futures Partnership 

I run my own consultancy business, Fair Futures Partnership. It was never my plan to set up my own company, but I decided to take the plunge last year when I realised it was the best way for me to work on projects and with people who shared my values.

I went straight to university from school, gaining a degree in Geology and a Masters in Geochemistry. Then I spent 20 years in environmental consultancy, mainly working in the built environment. I’ve built a strong network and that’s given me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone.

I’d encourage women to join this industry because gender balance is good for everyone. Diversity means better decision-making, critical in a climate emergency.



Lucy Black, Director of Innovation & Engagement, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

Every day is a school day at CSIC, which I love, gaining new knowledge and connections on innovative ways of working, new materials, new building structures, new technologies and new ways of transforming the construction sector in Scotland and building a better built environment.  I

am Lucy Black, Director of Innovation and Engagement at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.  I am a member of our Senior Leadership Team and lead 2 great teams of very clever, creative and proactive people responsible for marketing, events and communications as well as building innovation projects with key players in the Scottish construction sector, public sector partners and our universities and colleges. 

From a Marketing degree, I have always worked in economic development and innovation support, focusing on the construction sector for the last 10 years. 

The built environment fascinates and inspires me, a sector that is a foundation for the way we live, work and play.



Jennifer Smart, Lead Innovation Manager, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

As an Innovation Manager for CSIC I am responsible for the development of projects and programmes that support the Construction & Built Environment Industry play its part in reaching net zero by 2045. 

What I love most about my job is the variety of not only projects but also people and organisations I get to meet on a day to day basis. The role is full on but it is a pleasure and privilege to work to support such a great industry in Scotland.  I have a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering but stepped away from core engineering delivery early in my career and focused on business development, communications and stakeholder management.

This technical base and background along with the softer communication skills developed over my 20 plus years in construction has led me to my current role at the CSIC. 

I would definitely encourage more women to join the industry, there are so many roles to get involved in whether that is on site or office based. Be part of the transformation!



Lynsey Brydson, Innovation Manager, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

I’m an innovation manager at CSIC. The best thing about my job is that I get the chance to be involved in projects that will make a real difference to how the industry develops. I started working in construction on a temporary contract a decade ago – if you had told me then the opportunities I would get I wouldn’t have believed you!

Since then I’ve been able to work in a variety of roles and develop my skills, including achieving an MBA a few years ago. I would highly recommend working in construction – there is massive potential and it isn’t every day you get the chance to be involved in work that has such a huge impact on society.



Lisa Deane, Lead Future Skills Manager, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

I am the Lead Future Skills Manager at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, what I enjoy most about my job is working with a fantastic team who are passionate and committed to supporting educators and learners within the construction industry future proof skills. 

Recently we established a future leaders forum made up of young people who are enthusiastic and striving towards a delivering a diverse and inclusive sector that puts people and the environment at the heart of the built environment. 

The construction industry is changing rapidly and women are still vastly underrepresented but most definitely needed.  In an industry which is facing a huge skills shortage there are many opportunities for women, construction influences all our lives its where we live, learn and play so we need to influence construction!



Kaye Keenan, Future Skills Manager, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

I work as a Future Skills Manager at CSIC and project manage a variety of skills programmes. I originally trained as an English and History teacher and worked as a Guidance Teacher to senior phase students.

One of my passions is conservation in the built environment and I plucked up the courage to leave education in 2017 to work at Historic Environment Scotland. I joined CSIC in 2019. I am really proud of a work-based learning pilot I designed and developed whilst working at HES and also the Offsite Ready Programme I project managed last year. Both projects faced numerous challenges but achieved great success, which, I believe, was down to great teamwork.

I really love the variety I have in my role; every project is different. As a woman and a former teacher, I believe I bring a quiet determination to my role to get things done - you don’t have to talk the most or be the loudest to have success!

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