Inspiring inclusion: celebrating International Women’s Day

With today being International Women’s Day, we wanted to discuss what 2024’s theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, means for us as a company and how the construction industry has evolved to become more inclusive for women. We caught up with Rhian Edwards, our HR Director, to get her thoughts…

What drew you to your role at Mabey Hire? 

Having held global HR roles, working in over 50 countries, I’ve learnt that – regardless of where you are – you’re in a multi-cultural society. So, when I was offered the opportunity to join Mabey Hire, I was excited to help them to continue their commitment as an inclusive employer. Our CEO, Dave Adams, and the wider leadership team were integral in this, being keen on evolving our people strategy and taking a bottom-up approach. 

During my time with the company, we have been continuously evolving our people policy - I think that the more inclusive we can be, the better outcomes we will have as an organisation. By being more open and working to foster that culture, we can improve the experiences of those who work for us, as well as making ourselves more attractive as an employer. It was these same attitudes that attracted me to join Mabey Hire in the first place and what I hope will encourage others to join us too. 

What does ‘Inspire Inclusion’ mean to you? 

To me ‘Inspire Inclusion’ is all about creativity. We want to create an environment in which people want to work no matter their background, rather than bringing them in to tick a box. We want to show people who may not have considered a role in the engineering industry that they are welcome and that they can thrive with us.


Why is it important that companies in the construction sector support messages like this?

I think it’s critical that companies such as ourselves work to encourage new people into our industry. With such a wide pool of talent across the country, we want to open up access for everyone to join – not just for our own benefit, but for the industry as a whole. If we want to get the best talent, from anywhere in the world, then we all need to look at things differently.

What is Mabey Hire doing to support inclusion and inspire women to pursue roles in engineering and construction?

We’re taking a holistic approach, from maximising diversity through our graduate and apprenticeship programmes, to our people policies for full-time employees. 

For our graduates, we want them to know that they are an important presence within the company. As such, we’re always catching-up with them and discussing how the programme is going and if we can help them in any way.  Additionally, we try to engage with the next generation through a few methods, by getting involved with local careers fairs, as well as running our STEM programme. It’s all about introducing students to a sector and a career path that they may not have considered, encouraging the next generation of engineers into the industry. 

For our existing employees, we’ve introduced more flexible working, catering to a more diverse group of people, as well as updating our family friendly policies to reflect modern needs. We also actively help our engineers develop their career paths, by supporting them into becoming Chartered.

Last year, we launched our ‘Menopause and Me’ group, which looks to create an inclusive society by actively tackling the struggles a lot of women experience when going through the menopause. It’s proven that these struggles can lead to women leaving employment – we want to be there for them and show that they can stay with us. 

How can the construction industry as a whole support more inclusion of women? 

As an employer in this sector, we really want to make sure that everything we do attracts people in, where we can support them and set them on a strong career path within Mabey Hire. It’s really important that, when looking to encourage women into our industry, they feel welcome. By taking extra steps to ensure that when they look around a room they feel like an equal part of the team, our industry can become more inclusive for all. 

Do you have any advice for women who want to make the move into the construction industry?  

My advice would be to be flexible in your thinking. It’s easy for assumptions to be made about this industry and what it’ll be like, but it’s important to remember that the construction industry has gone through some big changes over the last few years. If those preconceptions can be put to one side, you’ll find it’s a really rewarding and interesting industry to be a part of.  

Find out more about International Women’s Day, here: or if you’re looking to start a career in temporary works with us, visit:

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