What made you want to step up into your Senior Role?
The opportunity to progress my passion in construction technology started in 2004 going out to some of the UK’s top 100 contractors and helping their transformation and better use of technology. From a senior consultant, head of professional services to a strategic relationship manager. With this experience, when I was approached for the role of CEO of EasyBuild, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. With this opportunity, did I realise how big this role was? Did I know the challenges which lay ahead? I was in the spotlight, first black female to head up a UK construction technology organisation … I must give this my best shot and not buckle at what lay ahead of me, so of which I knew from experience of the sector, and some being new as a first time CEO ultimately “the decision maker”. The greatest experience of my life and has bought so much experience to share with others, which at the time of my journey I had no one to ask for guidance.
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
I had always wanted to be a Barrister of law when I was growing up, watching Crown Court on the days which I was off from school as I was quite sickly with asthma. However, due to family restraints, my shift to accountancy and studying this at night college whilst working in the day time (there was 3.5million unemployed at the time so this was the right thing to do). I progressed with AAT qualification and then CIMA part qualifying and then paused further studies as the work was giving me the experience that I needed to progress. I spent my own time reading and learning, and where possible attending leadership courses to help with my progression.
What does your Senior Role actually involve?
As Head of Construction at Access Group, my role is to firstly ensure that our customers are getting the full benefit of their software investments. Working on new initiatives to attract new customers and improve the engagement and transformation for construction organisation.
Like all businesses, sales generation is key therefore my time is spent with the team ensuring that our go to market message informs new buyers of how we can address a range of process issues for construction.
My team are very important to me and our organisation, having a diversified team helps to ensure that we are delivering solutions which will be received by the sector. I also went back to school recently and completed a Master’s in Business for Architecture and Design from IE University Madrid in 2022.
Never allow the fact that you are a woman hold you back from whatever you want to do. Be clear as to where you want to get to and set a plan to work to get there.”
My name is Carol Massay, 56 years young and I have a career that spans over 36 years working closely within the Construction Industry.
Having started within one of the UK’s largest national house builder as an purchase ledger clerk, then into civil engineering for a large Irish contractor, I knew that technology for construction needed someone like myself to drive efficient methods of working embracing technology. My technology journey commenced in 2004 and has continued since then in 2015 appointed CEO of EasyBuild Construction software and then successfully sold to Access Group.
What is it like being a woman in a Senior position and how does it feel?
Being a woman and of as a woman of Caribbean descent, it has not been an easy journey. I have not focused on being the only female around the boardroom table, I have focused on “I have earned the stripes to be here and my voice count”. With this set of mind, I have forged business relationships within construction from the delivery team through to executive level in some of the largest construction projects both in the UK and Internationally.
Additionally, as a female in a typically male dominated environment as well as, from time to time, being an ethnic minority, I have had the opportunity to be a role model and encourage many other construction professionals to develop their career potential. I am passionate about equality in every shape and form and encourage a culture of inclusivity both within the construction sector, and as one of the Operations Leader for D&I at The Access Group, leading by example and aiming to be a good role model of both my gender and ethnicity.
As someone in your role, how do you deal with challenges? and what keeps you motivated to keep going?
I see challenges as part of the journey in work and personal. Things happen for a reason, dependent on the challenge, it could be a sign for you to “pause” and reflect and then “restart”. No-one is perfect. I do not believe in “failure”, this only applies if you do not learn from what has happened and move forward. If you aim for something that someone else has, that is not the right approach, their chapter 7 is not the same as yours. Staying in your own lane and surrounding yourself with people that you can talk to is also a good way to get through.
I am quite a positive person, I like routine and structure. Morning gym routine, walking and water intake (this as part of the 75 hard challenge which I started 30th January this year) has really kept me on track.
Despite any challenges you may face, what’s the best thing you like about your role?
I like the fact that I have a wealth of experience behind me, and happy to share. The best part of my job is speaking to our customers, when things are not going to plan, I am passionate at getting things back on track. My team are important to me also, and I help ensure that they get the support to excel in their career journey.
What advice would you give a young woman aspiring to progress to senior level in the industry?
Never allow the fact that you are a woman hold you back from whatever you want to do. Be clear as to where you want to get to and set a plan to work to get there.
Surround yourself with others like you, there are some great networking groups for women in construction where you can have that sense of belonging and get the support needed.
Reach out to people like myself or others who are happy to mentor and give support. “Together we are women united to make a difference”