Our Chair Lucy George Foster and Committee Members Kate Mills and Cathryn Bishop represented SWWIC at the launch of the Smith Institute‘s report launch and debate on ‘WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION: TIME TO THINK DIFFERENTLY?’ at the Houses of Parliament on 12th March.
The event saw the launch of a new booklet on women in the construction industry. Despite many initiatives by government and the construction industry, women still only represent around 11% of the construction workforce and as little as 1% in the manual trades. Studies have shown that large numbers of highly qualified women leave the construction sector early and never return. The outflow of skilled women, combined with the very low numbers of women choosing construction, is a lost opportunity and an on-going cost to the economy. The event will consider both the challenges and best practice and seek to raise awareness among employers, policy makers, politicians and the media, focusing on what needs to change.
The debate included Esther McVey (Minister of State for Employment), Meg Munn, MP (editor of the publication), Judy Lowe (Deputy Chair, Construction Industry Training Board), Christine Townley (Executive Director, Construction Youth Trust) and James Webb (Grants Officer, Wates Living). And it should not come as a surprise that Lucy managed to get the first question into the panel that stirred up the debate!
More information about the day will be revealed at the SWWIC AGM at The Treasury on 21st March.