On the 6th of March three women from Astins had the pleasure to attend the Women in Construction summit hosted in Charing Cross.
The purpose of the event was to showcase women across the construction industry, who have strived to make a difference within their field. Some of the speakers included Katrina Dowding (Executive Vice President of Skanska), Simone De Gale (Chief Executive of Simone de Gale Architects), and Alice Jennison (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Costain Skanska Joint Venture).
One reoccurring message of the day was to make women more representative of the construction industry, this was further highlighted in statistics that showed a massive gap between men and women employed within construction, both on site and in the industry as a whole. Marina Robertson’s speech, “Do we need to repaint our industry image?” shed light onto the possible origins of this problem, during her speech Marina typed in “Girls toys” into the Google search engine which brought about images of pictures of dollies and kitchens whilst searching for “Boys toys” showed diggers and superheroes. It is images like these that show there are still stereotypical roles expected from boys and girls, changing these gender perceptions from early can empower girls at a young age to consider industries such as construction as a career path.
Other options that were discussed to improve the gap included retaining the current female workforce, welcoming those returning to the industry and attracting new talent.
Women in Construction summit 2018 was a successful event, everyone who attended left empowered by all of the speakers. We look forward to attending the event again next year.