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Spotlight on: Emma Moss

On International Women’s Day, we shine the spotlight on Emma Moss, one of our talented quantity surveyors.

Since graduating from the Russell WBHO Building Student programme in 2020, Emma’s career in construction has gone from strength to strength. Here, she reveals more about her achievements, what she enjoys most about her role, and how she is helping to inspire other young women working in the industry.

Which projects have you worked on since graduating and what have been your main responsibilities?

My first role after graduation was assistant quantity surveyor for the construction of a new hotel in Manchester’s Portland Street. Following the project’s success, I became part of the team responsible for delivering a 152,000 sq ft extension on behalf of Mawdsleys, Doncaster which more than doubled the size of a distribution centre. While working on this project, I was promoted to lead-project quantity surveyor.

I’m now working on the construction of a new 150,000 sq ft industrial unit in Manchester’s Trafford Park, which is targeting a BREEAM Excellent and EPC A+ rating. I’ve recently taken over as the project’s quantity surveyor, which means I’m involved in all the commercial elements such as contract negotiations and agreements, managing the procurement of sub-contractor packages, monthly client meetings, valuations and cost reporting.

What has been your biggest achievement so far at Russell WBHO?

Being promoted to lead-project quantity surveyor for the Mawdsleys’ extension was a huge achievement in an early stage of my career.  I really enjoyed the challenge and being given more responsibility on such a large build.

My role changed from managing just a few sub-contractor packages to becoming the lead client contact, and procuring and managing all packages.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love the practical side of my job and seeing developments take shape from the design stage through to construction and handover.

The responsibilities I’ve been given across my most recent projects, have also helped me to learn and progress really quickly. Although at times, the extra responsibility can be challenging, I have a great team providing lots of support both on and off site. The former senior quantity surveyor for the Trafford Park build moved to work on another Russell WBHO development but is in contact with me every week and always on hand to give advice when I need it.

The chance to support other trainees is another highlight for me. At Trafford Park, I’m currently managing an assistant quantity surveyor, Isabelle May. Isabelle is a fourth-year Russell WBHO Building Student so following a similar path to myself. As her first female manager, I love being Isabelle’s mentor and guiding her on her career journey.

As Isabelle explains: “Emma is a brilliant role model who has shown that with the right training and hard work, you can rapidly progress in construction. I’m enjoying working together, learning from her experiences, and building my skills ahead of my final year as a student.”

What advice would you give to others thinking about a career in construction?

Learning on the job is invaluable, so look out for established training opportunities such as the Russell WBHO Building Student programme.  The amazing support and knowledge you can gain from qualified construction professionals will help to kickstart your career. As well as earning while you learn, this training allows you to experience construction projects first hand, put theory into practice and gain the skills you need more quickly.

What are your aspirations for the future?

There is so much to learn in the construction industry, so I’m looking forward to building my knowledge and gaining more experience across the different sectors Russell WBHO operates in. As my career progresses, I also hope to become a chartered quantity surveyor and to keep flying the flag for women in construction.

Emma and Isabelle on site at Trafford 150

Emma on site at Mawdsleys, Doncaster