Project Manager, Infrastructure, UK, Turner & Townsend
Manira Khan delves into her experience within the construction industry as a woman of colour, her role as a Project Manager at Turner & Townsend, and her thoughts on the necessity of the BPIC network
Having completed her undergraduate studies in BSc Chemistry (University of Birmingham) and an MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism (UCL), Manira’s debut in the construction industry began with her role as a Project Manager.
The Role – Project Management
"I love my role as a Project Manager so much, I really see myself staying in this role for a very long time.” – Manira
Having worked as a Project Manager for almost two years at Turner & Townsend, Manira oversees projects to ensure they meet build timelines. Most projects within construction can be complex and possess multiple steps before completion. Therefore, effective communication between herself and all other members of the project team is essential, so objectives are achieved.
Although her role can be challenging, Manira says that it is ‘extremely rewarding’. Having the opportunity to witness the progression of a project from start to finish is something she loves most. Manira emphasises that there is no ‘right way’ to get involved in the construction industry. However, it is about saying ‘yes’ to as many opportunities as possible, being open to networking, being ready to learn and most importantly believing in yourself even when you experience imposter syndrome.
Working At Turner & Townsend
“I have nothing but good things to say about Turner & Townsend, I just love how welcoming the environment is.” – Manira
After hearing about the Turner & Townsend through a friend, she knew it was the best organisation to develop her career. With ‘making the difference’ being the core ethos of the business at Turner & Townsend, she has received a multitude of opportunities to use her voice and make an impact.
During her time, Manira has also organised multiple events for South Asian Heritage Month to amplify South Asian voices and culture. This has helped to ensure people with varied backgrounds are given the platform to raise awareness, educated and ultimately facilitate change within the company.
Navigating The Construction Industry as a Woman of Colour
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done regarding inclusivity across the industry, however, one thing I find really encouraging about Turner & Townsend is that there is a lot of diversity here.” – Manira
Being one of the few women of colour in the construction industry, it can often feel quite isolating. However, Manira views this as even more of a reason to use her voice to help others feel comfortable to join the industry. One could say she is part of a group of pioneers for change!
BPIC’s agenda is one which Manira genuinely admires. To have a network dedicated to ensuring the inclusion of people of colour within workplaces that often feel impenetrable is something she would have appreciated as an emerging professional. Although Manira recognises that organisations within the construction industry have a long way to go, since she started her career, she has witnessed great improvements in efforts to be more inclusive.
More Than Just a Project Manager
“Although I was born in the UK, I try to stay connected with my Bangladeshi roots as much as possible. I absolutely love Bangladeshi cuisine!” - Manira
Born in Crawley, Manira was raised by Bangladeshi parents who shared their culture with her. As a young British Asian woman, when it comes to culture, Manira tries to maintain a balance. Besides loving South Asian food in general, she loves South Asian culture and often attends Bollywood dancing classes in her spare time.
Key Take Away
“Always be yourself and remember you will be an asset to any company you work for. Believe in yourself, say yes to opportunities and be open to learning new things.” - Manira