International Women’s Day: time to stand up and be counted

Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. And it’s the perfect opportunity to take a look at what Mabey and the wider construction industry is doing (and needs to do) to attract and retain new expertise from underrepresented talent pools.

In the UK, the construction industry needs to recruit 400,000 people a year to meet the country's needs up to 2021, yet fewer than one in five school-age children in a recent survey said their parents would consider that a career in construction was a ‘good option’. In the same survey, just 30 per cent of young men and only 16 per cent of young women said a career in construction was a possibility for them.

Group Chief Executive Officer Juliette Stacey is an ambassador for diversity in the workforce. She said: “In the UK, nine per cent of the engineers in our sector are women. In UK Hire that figure rises to 15 per cent. Although more needs to be done to catch up with the 30 per cent seen in other European countries, I’m proud to be leading the way in our industry.”

At last week’s Women in Construction event, UK Hire’s Development Team Leader Anna Preston was flying the flag for Mabey Hire and women in the industry when she was shortlisted for Project Manager of the Year.

Juliette said: “I am encouraging our business to become more diverse, and to recruit and nurture people with the right values and behaviours.

“In the UK, we are beginning to go out into our local communities and talk with young people about what this industry achieves, how we help our customers deliver more quickly, safely and efficiently. I am doing just this at a school local to me, and in April I will be judging the European Women in Engineering Awards. We have to start at the grass roots level to see long term, sustainable and positive change in our industry.”

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