By: Amber Grennan On: March 08, 2023 In: Blog Comments: 0

International Women’s Day was introduced to the World in 1911 after a recent movement for women’s rights in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The day was first observed in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland on 19 March (in modern times celebrated on 8 March). We still celebrate this event today to recognise women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements and to bring awareness to the long road still ahead for women’s equality.

The United Nations’ 2023 theme is ‘DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ a theme we feel that is completely reflective of the achievements of the women at GGR Group. Women here have been part of the driving force that has developed GGR Group into the successful company it is today.

As a construction industry leader, GGR Group has seen first-hand the effects of working in a male-dominated industry and the difficulty women face when trying to break into the scene. This was particularly apparent to Gill Riley, Managing Director and Owner of GGR Group, who started the company in 1995 when it was rare to see women in construction, never mind running a construction company.

Women in Construction – Innovation and Technology

Across our business, women are employed in a range of roles including administration, marketing, management, and engineering and we are determined to see that number grow. The women we do currently employ are thriving in their roles and are encouraged to progress their careers, one employee has even acquired their crane licence while working in an unrelated role at GGR.

Gill Riley – Managing Director and Owner

With almost 30 years as the owner of a construction plant hire company Gill Riley OBE has been one of the leading forces in proving women’s place in the industry. Gill has continued to pioneer innovation and technology in the industry over the years, even receiving an OBE in 2015 for her role in Services to Construction, bringing the UK into the future of lifting solutions.

Continuing to impress in the years since then Gill has assisted in bringing a selection of zero-emission technology to the industry such as the 2020 introduction of the 1st Electric Telehandler to the UK market. Gill then went on to win The everywoman of the Year Award which is “A unique recognition of one incredibly passionate and dedicated female business owner. The award honours someone that has achieved significant success as well as broken down barriers and overcome tremendous challenges, highlighting a great example to women and her community or industry.

Harriet – UNIC Export and Customer Service Executive

After working with GGR Group for a number of years Harriet has built an excellent relationship with customers and suppliers and delivered great focus on driving administrational development within the workplace.  Over her GGR career, she has personally and professionally developed her skill set, in multiple job roles including her support of others.

“Working in a female lead construction company has been empowering, I have developed my skills and been supported throughout the years. Working with a team of incredible women and men has and continues to be a joy.”

Marta – Videographer and Photographer

Having been here for a year now Marta has proven herself to be a skilled and innovative asset to the company and has heightened the standard for all of our imagery and videos across our platforms. During the past few months, Marta has also decided to pursue her crane licence having recently passed her theory with flying colours and is continuing to eagerly complete her hands-on training.

Here’s what she had to say:

“I had the opportunity to join this incredible company last March – an innovative company which is continuing to improve the female representation in the industry. At GGR I see myself working in a very supportive environment, creating and developing digital content.”

Amna – Master Data Admin

Amna’s job is in layman’s terms to assist in the creation and maintenance of master data, which is integral to making sure everything runs smoothly here at GGR. After starting in January, she has thrown herself into her role here and has a depth of experience that has made an impact on our company.

“My role at GGR is reflective of the International Women’s Day theme, as it falls under the IT sector where we are now seeing an increasing amount of gender equality (Previously male-dominated).

“I am happy to be part of the driving change to introduce more women into IT-related roles and grateful to be part of such an innovative company.”

Jess – Office Support Admin

Jess has been here at GGR Group for 1 year and knows the ins and outs of the office. The importance of her role here means she is often busy but is still always putting 100% into anything that comes her way.

“As Office Support Admin at GGR Group, I work with the engineering team who maintain our extensive fleet. Across our three branches, I produce accurate information used by internal and external sources. Through my interactions, I have not only grown to understand the capabilities and specifications of the plant, but I have also received a first look at the innovation and new technology the company is developing.”

Simone – Trainee Apprentice Engineer

Simone recently took the opportunity to become a Trainee here at GGR Group so she could learn what it would mean to be an engineer and also get a feel for the environment of the company before she fully committed to an apprenticeship. She has come on leaps and bounds since then and has learned plenty about engineering for a plant hire company.

Simone stated: “Engineering is a very male-dominated industry so getting into that as a woman is quite daunting, but at GGR it is a very inclusive workplace that is open to change and development and I am very happy to see the gender gap regarding engineering decrease massively in such a complex career. As the technology in the world becomes more advanced, I’m glad to see companies are too.”

We have many roles at GGR Group that are filled by skilled women across all three depots in the UK, unfortunately, we can’t interview them all, but we appreciate their talents all the same. In this male-dominated industry, we are always looking for ways to improve the equitable ways in which we can help women achieve success in the company and increase the number of women in construction, innovation and technology.

New roles are always popping up at GGR and if you are looking for an opportunity to work in the industry just contact our team at We also provide hands-on courses for novices to experienced operators which are open for everyone to apply to as well as eLearning courses so you can break into the industry from the comfort of your own home.

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