International Women's Day 2019
International Women’s Day has a theme of #BalanceForBetter. This is a campaign to highlight and promote the importance of equal opportunities for women and within the construction industry this is an important area to address.
There is a view that the industry as a whole is male dominated, but it is actually full of varying opportunities amidst a rising tide of change. A more gender diverse workforce is becoming ever-present, and national contractor United Living are working to address the imbalance in the sector, with the aim of creating a culture where everyone is able to fulfil their potential; one which encourages innovation, celebrates diversity and fosters inclusivity.
Caroline Lewis, New Business Manager, said: “International Women’s Day to me emphasises that collectively we can make a difference. The industry provides a plethora of opportunities which through supported equality and diversity policies and flexible working will promote opportunities for all. The construction industry has provided me with a multitude of opportunities from house builders to housing associations and contractors. The support I’ve received from all has been significant and I look forward to supporting the next generation.”
Three women at United Living, all of whom having come from the background of a Resident Liaison Officer (RLO), have recently changed roles into site management. They are an example of where women are progressing within the construction industry, and how opportunities are truly open to all.
Amanda Pearce, Assistant Site Manager, said: “As a modern society I can see the change in attitudes towards women working within the industry, and I hope as time goes on more women pursue a career within construction. The knowledge that there are a huge amount of roles that are non-gender specific is becoming widely available and this is enabling the industry to become more diverse.”
Lisa Pecellin, Assistant Site Manager, said: “I was interested in taking on the role of a site manager as it gave an opportunity to have much more responsibility and to take part in making important decisions. United Living has been very supportive of me, sending me on training courses as well arranging a Site Supervisors’ Safety Training Scheme course and exam.”
Agreeing with the need for more diversity, Sarah Drew, Assistant Site Manager, said: “More women need to be enticed into the industry. There are not enough female trade operatives, or females in roles from site management level and above, but at United Living this is different and so much is being done to highlight the roles available.” With increased understanding of the continued presence of non-gender specific roles it is hoped that more women will be attracted to a career in the sector. But how can the industry continue its push to become more diverse and an area where new and fresh talent seeks a career?
Daren Moseley, Managing Director of Refurbishment South at United Living, said: “There are no barriers of entry at United Living and we actively embrace and encourage a diverse workforce. Management and other senior positions are not just for men, they are for all and we are continuing to work hard to attract more women into the industry. I believe that our 10 point plan around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion alongside flexible working arrangements and our ability to adapt to individual circumstance will help us achieve more female recruitment. International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to highlight the work we are doing to both encourage more women into the industry as well as the importance we place on a diverse workforce.”