Women in BIM (WIB) welcomes back, Vicki Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer at Catalyst. For many years Vicki has been a WIB champion, and after having a short hiatus to take time out to focus on parenting, Vicki return to the WIB Global Leadership Team.

Vicki heads up information security and technology strategy and implementation at Catalyst. During her career in construction she has held roles in information management, BIM management and digital construction across several high-profile projects, delivering digital solutions, implementing new technology, and upskilling individuals and organisations.

An active member of the construction community both locally and globally, Vicki has written and delivered workshops and lectures on digital construction and information management for audiences in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, India, and China.

Here we asked Vicki a few questions about her career, why WIB is important to her, and in what direction she sees BIM heading. 

What attracted you to a career in the construction industry?

Funnily enough, I was never attracted to the industry at all. I had fallen out of love with my previous industry and a friend knew of a role with a construction project management company that I was going to use as a filler job until I found my new passion. Little did I know that the built environment would grip my heart and soul so tightly! 

Once I was in, I saw a whole world of potential. This was the first time in my professional career that made me feel like my own personal contribution mattered, and the fact that I was able to learn quickly and influence change gave me a buzz I’d never quite experienced before.

Why is Women in BIM an important initiative to you?

I have personal experience of gender discrimination and it almost made me quit the industry entirely. It was BIM, and the wonderful, open, and inviting colleagues I met from this discipline, that made me stay. 

If I’d have known that this was a career option for me as a teenager there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have explored it, but unfortunately it was only the “naughty boys” who were sent off to learn about construction at my school. 

I’ve seen first-hand how Women in BIM have supported women through difficult times in their career, providing mentors, communities, and resources to help them thrive. By raising the profile of women in our industry, and gaining support from allies, old and new, we can attract more and more girls into the workforce.

In what direction do you see the future of BIM heading?

BIM is good information management. To keep the built environment safe and sustainable we must understand that there isn’t a ‘future for BIM’ in our industry, because BIM is our future. 

What has been a career highlight for you?

Going in to a secondary school in my hometown, Cleethorpes, to speak to students in year 10 about the viability of construction as a career was a huge highlight for me. The students were so engaged and intrigued, and they really enjoyed seeing examples of BIM and other construction tech. I left feeling as though I’d made a difference and opened up a potential career path that they had not previously considered. It was especially exciting to see so many girls asking questions and taking a genuine interest.