HOUSE OF LORDS

Women into Construction held a luncheon reception in the House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Warwick, to highlight the important contribution that women can and do make to the construction industry, and encourage construction companies to support WIC, both through membership, as well as on a practical level through identifying potential employment and training opportunities.

The event was very well attended with 250 representatives of construction companies and supporters coming together to look at how we can work together to increase female representation in the construction and infrastructure industries.

QUOTES FROM OUR SUPPORTERS

Catherine West – Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said: “Over the years we have seen ‘gendered occupations’ begin to break down, yet construction remains a sector in which women still make up a very small proportion of the workforce- by some standards, the lowest in Europe. What Women Into Construction are doing to encourage and support women into construction jobs will achieve much more than just making the work force more representative. Diversity in the workplace, brings different experiences and different skills to the site, and I am in no doubt that it will enhance the effectiveness of an industry that is so critical to London’s economy.”

Crossrail Chairman Sir Terry Morgan said: “Crossrail is doing everything it can to make construction an exciting and attractive career option for women. Thanks to partnerships with organisations like Women into Construction, Crossrail has been able to give opportunities to hundreds of women who would not have considered construction as a career. The benefits of a diverse workforce are clear, but the construction industry must continue do much more to grow its talent pool and create a workforce capable of delivering the huge pipeline of projects planned.”

Tideway Head of Human Resources Julie Thornton said: “Construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel will create more than 4,000 direct jobs and, in an industry already suffering huge skills shortages, it’s imperative we continue to encouraging women into engineering and construction. At Tideway, we are working towards achieving gender parity in our project team and have also set our main works contractors some challenging employment targets.  We know reaching these goals will be no mean feat and we cannot achieve them without the support of organisations like Women into Construction, that help raise the profile of women in construction and infrastructure, and assist the supply chain to achieve their targets. We are delighted to continue supporting Women into Construction towards their aspiration to change the face of construction.”

Steve Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said: “With over 230,000 new jobs being created in construction in the next five years, we need to draw on every possible source of talent. This means we must do everything we can to bring more women into the construction workforce. Over the past eight years, Women Into Construction has helped to bring more women into the industry and challenged perceptions about the sector.”

Judith Cobham-Lowe, OBE FIOD, FRSA said: “Many organisations claim to help women into work; Women into Construction actually delivers. And how! That became clear during my five years as Deputy Chairman of funders CITB. With over 600 women trained, offered jobs and STILL in work, this is a fantastic success record that few other programmes can match”.