Construction and Civil Engineering have the lowest percentage of women working in the sector and with so few female workers the sector is missing out on a huge pool of potential workers.
The Essex Employment and Skills Board is passionate about supporting a diverse future workforce and organised an event for young women accompanied by a parent/influencer, to speak to employers about the breadth of roles and opportunities within construction.
The future pipeline of women coming into the sector is dependent on education and changing both the image and perceptions of the sector. The prominent stereo-type is that the sector is dominated by men in hard harts holding a trowel or in muddy boots! However, construction has evolved, is so much more, with many roles both on and off-site. Increasingly new methods of construction and digital construction techniques are becoming more prevalent.
There are also the misguided perceptions of low-pay, low skills and a boom/bust nature of the sector, which make it appear less attractive and appealing, when in fact the sector is about qualified workers, embarking on successful and rewarding careers.
The event, hosted at Anglia Ruskin University, saw young women aged between 14 and 18, visiting a number of employers in a speed-networking style event to find out about the breadth of roles and opportunities. It provided a friendly and welcoming opportunity to ask questions and join in discussions about how rewarding the sector can be. Quantity and Project Surveyors, HR Managers, Civil Engineers, Construction Legal Associates, Digital Managers and more were on-hand from Essex based businesses to inform and inspire a future diverse workforce.
The young women were asked the one thing that they learnt from the event. Here is a snapshot of their responses:
“There are many different roles available to me in construction”
“I can take an apprenticeship to get into construction”
“There is more to construction then just building!”
“Construction isn’t easy, but it is rewarding”
“More companies are supporting women into construction”
Recently we launched our new ‘Ultimate Construction Careers Guide’ with copies sent to secondary schools across Essex. A links to the guide is avialible from the right-hand menu.