BSRIA is celebrating International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8th March but as an industry – Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA – asks: are we doing enough to foster and encourage the excellence of female engineers – both into engineering and into the ‘boardroom’?
The remit of the day is for women to continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement – on a worldwide scale. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. In 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the “already glacial pace of progress” meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.
The organisation wants women and girls to achieve their ambitions and calls for flexible cultures or “root out workplace bias”.
Julia said: “Diversity is clearly needed in the construction industry to shift the scales of ritual and tradition and turn the tide so that women are more fairly represented.
Current statistics for women in the construction workplace is about 12 per cent compared to 47 per cent in other industries. This variation is undesirable. Women make up 52 per cent of Britain’s population, so increasing the percentage of the female workforce in the industry must happen as a matter of urgency.
They have struggled to get an equal footing in construction, but the representation of women in our industry has waxed and waned in recent history, demonstrating that, government leadership is crucial in this important debate.
There are plenty of different roles for women working in the built environment these days – from surveyors to construction site managers.
In this specific respect, BSRIA continues to work with local schools and colleges, in and around Bracknell, to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects – not only at an early age – but to women – who have historically not always chosen this academic avenue.
BSRIA is very supportive of women going into engineering and proud to be employing many female engineers itself who are flourishing. Engineers help make the future a reality.”