International Women in Engineering Day Highlights the Challenges We Face

Jon Sealy
Today is the fourth International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) brought to us by the Women’s Engineering Society, INWED is a campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and draw attention to the career opportunities available for women in the industry.

Endorsed worldwide by UNESCO, last year the campaign reached over a million people on social media and 350 schools events were held in the UK alone. Research shows that only 9% of engineers in the UK are women, the lowest percentage in Europe, whereas Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus can boast 30%. In the construction industry, a recent article in Construction News put the percentage of women in the sector at around 12%.

These figures and the Women in Engineering campaign remind us of the importance of attracting women to our industry. Across the world, UK companies are recognised for their expertise in the built environment, but we are facing up to a potentially damaging skills shortage. If we are to remain successful we must make our industry an exciting, fulfilling, inclusive and respected one for the female project managers and quantity surveyors of the future.

It is widely recognised that diverse teams are more innovative, better at solving problems and produce superior results...

It is widely recognised that diverse teams are more innovative, better at solving problems and produce superior results – attributes we all want, to ensure that we remain competitive. At Faithful+Gould, we pride ourselves on being inclusive and proactively champion diversity. Back in 2014, our Women’s Business Network was launched to retain and attract women into Faithful+Gould to ensure a more positive gender balance going forward in senior positions and continues to be supported internally and externally. This has proven to be highly successful.

Our commitment is not limited to senior positions, but the wide range of roles and levels across Faithful+Gould. Two of our female quantity surveyors, at very different stages of their careers are working on the Piazza Learning Centre at the University of York which will house teaching facilities and learning spaces as part of a £27 million scheme on the campus.

Back in 2014, our Women’s Business Network was launched to retain and attract women into Faithful+Gould to ensure a more positive gender balance...

Charlotte Dennish and Sophie Barrow are part of a strong female team working on the new development, Charlotte is a trainee quantity surveyor, who initially started a degree in midwifery before changing to quantity surveying and has chosen to study part time to have some practical experience before graduating. Sophie Barrow, is a senior quantity surveyor, having started at Faithful+Gould as an apprentice 10 years ago and is in a team where over a third of her colleagues are female and is led by a woman.

It’s great that we can offer all of our young people such rewarding opportunities and as a company and a sector we need more people like Charlotte and Sophie across all our disciplines to ensure that we bridge the potential skills gap and promote the merits of a vibrant, fulfilling and exciting industry.

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