A national think tank has produced a report calling on the construction industry to do more to recruit women has been backed by a female-led Suffolk scaffolding contractor.
Sally Peck from Lowestoft based Apex Scaffolding wants to encourage more women into the sector, and raise awareness of the interesting and varied career opportunities which the industry offers.
Through offering work experience, supporting other female-led local companies and working with schools she hopes to increase the number of women in the sector in Suffolk. The Smith Institute paper, called Building the future: women in construction, reports that women make up just 11 % of staff in the construction industry, and just 1 % of staff who are based on site.
“We are now emerging from what has been a tough time for the industry, but economic growth will increase demand for skilled workers, so the industry should be doing more right now to encourage women into the sector. The variety in the sector is vast, and the skills needed are wide-ranging. “All of the women I know in construction are fantastic at their jobs and deliver a very high standard of work.
“It is true that women have to work harder to prove ourselves and to gain credibility, although I don’t believe that is necessarily a bad thing. I’d rather earn the trust and respect of my clients and change any preconceptions they may have about women through the service my business delivers.”
“Both Apex Scaffolding and our sister company Apex Roofing have strong female leaders, and we have seen a fantastic start to the year in terms of work coming in and projects finishing and we’re feeling very positive for the year ahead.” The Smith report calls for leaders from within he sector to champion the case for change, an increase in mentoring and peer support for women entering the industry, more government support for programmes designed to support women coming into the industry and better careers advice in schools.