Each year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8, with the first day being observed in the early 1900s. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, cultural, political and social achievements of women. Many Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups and the media across the world help celebrate this day.
Join Meinhardt as we help celebrate IWD and women’s achievements throughout the month of March, with the focus on improving gender diversity in engineering practices, particularly at senior level.
In the UK, only 7% of the engineering workforce is women. To change this we need to show engineering as a welcoming place for women. To date, there are a number of campaigns which have helped raised awareness of the shortage of women in the construction industry and what we can do to change it. We highlight a few below:
The WE50 campaign aims to raise awareness of the skills shortage facing the engineering industry and the huge discrepancy between the numbers of men vs. women currently in engineering professions. It also focuses on what we can do to change perceptions and encourage young women to consider engineering as a viable and rewarding career. The theme #PressforProgress focusses on promoting thinking, acting and being gender inclusive.
The Construction News in partnership with Willmott Dixon ‘Inspire Me’ Campaign was initiated after having investigated the lack of gender diversity in construction leadership roles over many years. The campaign aims to accelerate the pace of change so that barriers for women in the workplace are systematically removed and best practice is emphatically endorsed. It also aims to harness the experience and talent of women by demonstrating the tangible benefits to business and best practice examples.
Meinhardt recognises that there is a shortage of females in the construction industry and are active advocates for increasing the number of female engineers in the company. We understand that if we can attract a wide diverse pool then it is for the ‘gender’ good of the company/industry as a whole. It is imperative for our future growth to attract, retain and develop the very best talent from a wide diverse pool and this includes women. We address the shortage of women in the industry by implementing the following initiatives:
- Actively encourage female applicants to apply for vacancies through the Universities and Graduate sites
- Internally fostering the development of female colleagues through Learning and Development programs. We ensure each female engineer has a Senior Buddy to provide guidance and inspiration
- Proudly an equal pay employer
- Keeping in touch days whilst on maternity and paternity leave
- Flexible working and adjustment hours to facilitate balance work life
- Flexi paid family friendly days – To be taken when an employee’s child is unwell.
Historically, we are a male dominated company in line with the construction industry; however with the current increase of females studying engineering, we are encouraged to see more women engineering graduates joining our team. We currently have female Associates and a Regional Director accounting for our workforce and are always looking to recruit more females in senior positions within the company.
We can see that the industry is making progress, with more women taking up senior positions and we are in full support of this. Together as an industry, we can all be champions for positive change by spreading awareness of the gender imbalance and implementing strategies to create an inclusive workforce irrespective of gender.