For our latest Money Talk, we sat down for virtual drinks with Dayomi, a trained and practicing Civil engineer at one of the leading building and construction companies in Lagos, Nigeria to discuss what it’s like working in construction as a Nigerian woman, the setbacks, what she’s learned and plans for the future.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
My name is Oladipupo Dayomi, a practicing Civil Engineer at a construction company in Lagos, where we build everything from Luxury residential buildings, steel structures to facility management.
We can pretty much say you build everything then.
So how has working as a Female Engineer been
Huh, for years I’ve worked with a lot of men like lots of men, sometimes I’d go through an entire day just seeing men men men and the moment I come across another woman I’m like, please hug me, finally!
Yeah, honestly it’s not fun and not like it’s terrible; oh, it’s just sad that it’s what it is sometimes.
So what’s Your Typical day like?
I have three major responsibilities on our construction sites, being the civil engineer, document control, and project manager as well. However, the responsibilities change depending on what is needed at the moment.
A few weeks ago, an account shared stories of female masons getting harassed on construction sites on Twitter. Did you hear about this?
I didn’t come across this, but it’s so disheartening. It’s sick how society always tries to make sure where they feel women don’t fit in that they are not there—the bloody nerve.
I understand first hand how difficult it is working with so many men, and one thing it has taught me is patience. Their egos my goodness!
There are the ones that would argue everything, and it never passes, ” I’m a man and physically stronger blah blah blah” Sometimes I’m like bro!
So how is work for you now?
Luckily where I work, we have a system that focuses on your academic qualifications and skills over Gender, we have lots of women who if I may say, do a lot more than some of the men with us.
In your opinion, do you think we need more Women in Engineering?
Yessssss! I hate that those obstacles which should be nonexistent keep so many women from joining the profession. This isn’t the first time I’m sharing my experience about being in the field, growing up I doubted that I’d be able to work in construction because it wasn’t prim, so I’ll keep sharing if it gets more women to join.
I’d like to get a little bit personal if that’s okay with you.
Okay so first off, what’s life outside building constructions like
I volunteer at a couple of NGOs in Lagos that are particular about helping children in Lagos. I’m currently a member of the growth and development team at slum to school. We work on developing and managing buildings.
I also have a blog * laughs.
What about this blog?
The blog is still upcoming abeg, I’m not the best writer out there but I’m working on it.
Oya before you blow, what’s the name so we’ll have bragging right when that time comes.
At first, it was called GET, girls in engineering talk, then after a while was rebranded to STEMIST. The goal is to create a platform that gets to as many women in engineering to build a much-needed sisterhood across different generations of engineers. I always wished for a Female Mentor when I was fresh out of University and the more I speak about it now, the more I realize how important it is that I get the ball rolling, thank you.
Dayomi is on twitter @d_a_y_o_m_i