Our second interview to celebrate International Women’s Day is with our Project Manager, Marie-Lou Quivogne. We’re speaking to three of our Steeldeckers to get their thoughts on how we can #choosetochallenge the industry to be more inclusive. 

Tell us about your role at Steeldeck

I’m one of the project managers. I look after our larger, more intricate projects that require our specialised building team and transport. My role is to deliver a structure (stage, platform, tiered seating, etc) within building regulations, that fits with client location and vision.  

What do you enjoy most about it?

My work is varied, the perfect balance between office and site work. I meet and communicate with a lot of different people – from clients and technical venue managers to truck drivers – to ensure that the delivery and build of the structure will happen as smoothly as possible. Despite having regular clients, the projects are never the same, there is always something new to consider, to design, and this keeps my work very interesting and fresh.

Are there particular kinds of projects that you enjoy working on more than others e.g. being outside, the  more bespoke structures, working at height, specific venues or clients? 

I love working outside building  stages on festival sites and getting some fresh air, but I also very much enjoy working in the west end! It always feel so special to be inside those magnificent theatres for stage infills or to set up jib platforms.  

Ours is a traditionally-male dominated corner of the events industry, have you seen much change in this  regard over your career? 

I am in contact with quite a few women within my role, and despite the fact that building sites are usually more male dominated, there are always women around which makes me feel that the industry is becoming more diverse.  

If there was one thing you would like to see changed in the industry generally what would it be?

It would be great not to have to prove constantly that we (women) are as capable than our male counterparts. 

Are there any practices that could be challenged or initiatives to encourage more women to join and stay in the industry?

I think showing positive experiences of other women within the industry can encourage other women to join.

Have any colleagues or role models been influential in your career? 

I am lucky to have few close girl friends that have jobs with high responsibilities and work as well in men-dominated industries. I saw them evolve in their career as the same time as I did, and by conversing and exchanging our experiences, I have been able to deal with situations with a  professional and positive attitude which is why I am here today.  

What’s one bit of advice you would give someone looking to start in a similar role within the industry? 

Be  the best you can be, be confident in your capabilities, and put yourself in other people shoes to work better with them.  

Tell us about one of your favourite arts or cultural experiences

I love the Natural History Museum and we had the honour to set up a stage with backstage area and a tier seating structure for a live performance about Darwin’s life (pictured). The load-in was quite special as we had to winch our equipment into the building. But what made it so special was being inside this magnificent building, after hours, surrounded by natural beauty.