I am delighted to be creating the Women in Construction Summit – the UK’s first revolutionary conference dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion.
Why we are holding this conference
As you may know, construction is more than a man in a yellow hard-hat and Timberland boots. You may also know that the public image of the industry overlooks the women working within it.
So the real question is: how can we change perceptions and demonstrate that as a woman you can have a rewarding and successful career in construction?
The construction industry is a vital part of the UK economy, contributing 7% to annual GDP and employing almost 3 million people (Designing Buildings, 2017). What is alarming is that women only make up 11% of the industry, and even more alarmingly, women only make up 1% of construction sites. It is clear this percentage is far too small for an industry of such significance to society.
Construction is faced with the question of how to raise diversity and during the conference we will uncover the importance of having such discussions and introducing D&I policies.
Firstly, any individual with the right skills should be able to enter and be rewarded by a career in construction.
Secondly, companies with a gender diverse workforce are 15% more likely to generate above average revenue.
Thirdly, the industry should be proactive and cast its net wider to reach greater pools of talent.
The three reasons above are enough to demonstrate to the industry and society that we need to act on these issues. The first step is to identify the problem, which we’ve done. Now we need to push towards creating a solution as a collective industry.
What to expect from the conference
Through a combination of inspiring keynotes from women leading the way, discussions on how to solve industry challenges, skills workshops and unparalleled networking opportunities, Women in Construction Summit will re-energise your passion and provide all the actionable insight you need to flourish in the sector.
You’ll discover new ways of asserting yourself as a female leader in a male-dominated world, learn practical strategies on how to create a diverse and productive workforce, share the latest information on the role of women in solving many of the industry’s biggest challenges and much more!
I am thrilled to have Katy Dowding, Executive Vice President at Skanska, providing a keynote speech on how diversity and inclusion has changed and transformed over her past 30 years in the industry. Katy will highlight that D&I does bring business success and what the future may hold for women.
Other highlights will include the Founder & Director of Golden Houses Development, Monika Slowikowska, sharing how the new era of construction will be defined by Brexit and the ageing workforce; we will also hear from the Commercial Director at Jacobs, Ceri Evans, sharing an inspiring and uplifting perspective of diversity through her own journey in the industry and the Visiting Professor of Inclusive Engineering at Aston University, Dawn Bonfield MBE, addresses unconscious bias through an interactive session.
After the event, attendees will be empowered, energised, informed with industry knowledge and ready to help other women enter and climb the construction career ladder. Are you ready for the change?
You can see the full agenda here.
Women in Construction Summit is taking place on Tuesday 6th March 2018 at 8 Northumberland Avenue.
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