Hayley MorrisHayley has been a senior quantity surveyor with VGC since July 2014.

After gaining a BSc (Hons) in Geography from Kingston University, she joined Carillion as an assistant quantity surveyor (QS) on the CTRL Network Rail contract. Studying one day a week, she gained her MSc in Quantity Surveying, also from Kingston, and was promoted to project QS for the East London line maintenance contract for London Underground.

In November 2013 she was promoted again, to senior QS. She managed multiple Network Rail projects on Thameslink, with a combined project value of over £32 million.

“I studied geography because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do when I left school. I’m really pleased that I chose construction as a career.”

Hayley joined VGC in 2014 to work on the £7 million East Kent resignalling project. She went on to work on the Costain Crossrail Angelia line of route. She is now responsible for all contract cost analysis and budgeting, design change and subcontract management for four live projects:

  • Balfour Beatty and Vinci joint venture on the M4
  • Volker Fitzpatrick (VFL) drainage
  • Balfour Beatty at Gidea Park and Shenfield substations.

VGC has been very supportive

After having her son, Hayley returned from maternity leave in November 2017. She says: “Juggling parenting and my challenging job means my husband and I have to be very organised, which VGC has accommodated. Having a child doesn’t just affect the woman but the man as well and that needs to be regarded.

“VGC has been very supportive and I flex my hours around the traffic so I can avoid wasting time travelling.”

More women should look at careers in engineering

Hayley has advice for other women considering a career in construction. “Since I found how interesting quantity surveying is, I haven’t really looked back. I think more girls should look at careers in engineering – it is really rewarding. As women we can do anything we want – it is not a male industry; we can do everything.”

“It is true that I’ve often been the only woman on site. And sometimes that can be difficult with changing facilities, and so on. But if you just keep politely asking, people do listen.

“I know some men don’t expect you to know what you are talking about, but the more women we have in senior positions, the easier it is for all of us. I think it is important to educate all people, especially women, at an early age that there are lots of options.”