Brogan Group Ireland's Donna Hickey, has passed her Advanced Scaffolding course, putting her as one of the few if perhaps the first female Advanced Scaffolder in Ireland.
We spoke to Donna about her progress through her career so far and her unique perspective in a male-dominated trade.
How did you get into Scaffolding?
“So when I was younger and my dad used to work for himself Scaffolding on the weekends I would go to work with him and be his labour, regardless of what part of the country he was going to. When I finished school, I was working in jobs and I just wasn't enjoying them as I loved just being outside. My dad (Martin Hickey, now Contracts Manager at Brogan Group) asked me one day did I want to go scaffolding with him, and I gave it a thought and said I'd go and chance it anyways.”
What is it like working in a largely all-male working environment on site?
“I was more so nervous about going into an "all-male environment but in the end, I had nothing to be nervous about, I was never really treated any different, and I quickly picked up on the Scaffold erecting, dismantling and everything in between.”
What was the step-up like from Basic Scaffolding to the Advanced Course?
“I was a trainee Scaffolder for just over 2 years when I went on to do my basic Scaffold course. Becoming an Advanced Scaffolder, you think you already know the ins and outs of it, but you don't, so you take on the role and have to be willing to learn more and understand more, it's great, I actually have the experience now and the faith in myself to go with it.”
What projects have you been working on with Brogan Group and what parts of those did you enjoy the most?
I have had over 4 years of scaffolding with Brogan Group, I worked on UCD, and Charlemont and am now currently in Adamstown, taking over Supervision on erecting /dismantling a big project for Elliott Group.
Why would you encourage more females to work in construction/ Scaffolding?
“I would definitely encourage more females to work in construction/scaffolding, it's a great environment, it's not a male environment it's a physical environment, but once you put your mind to it, it can be done.
For me, working in this environment Is just what I love, I love the challenges daily, the craic, the friends I've made along the way, and the new and old faces you see on sites, we all help each other pursue in our careers, everyone is here to help each other, its definitely for me a more healthy environment.”