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Women in Construction NI Summit 2020

Women in Construction NI Summit 2020 – What did we learn?

 
CITB NI and the CITB NI Women in Construction Network recently hosted the first ever Women in Construction NI Summit on 5th March 2020. However, the news of Flybe’s collapse and the spread of the Coronavirus may have meant that you didn’t hear much about it at the time.
 
So, now that we’ve had time to reflect, we’ve reviewed the day to find out what the key takeaways were and what initiatives CITB NI and the WICN might take forward.
 
The first thing to say is what an amazing array of focused, talented, courageous and inspiring speakers we had from Northern Ireland and further afield.

Watch the highlights of the Summit below.



 
For all the video presentations on the day click here


We’ve split what we think the key findings / action points from the day were into three groups – employers, women working in the industry and CITB NI / the Women in Construction Network.
 
For employers:
 
  • Diversity isn’t just about gender and polices to support women, a good diversity strategy will support all your employees – for many people nowadays work life balance is important and so implementing things like enhanced maternity / paternity, flexible working, and so on, will improve your chances of recruiting the best people, irrespective of what category they fall into.
 
  • Reach out to and learn from other employers and organisations. Ask for help and find out what works or doesn’t work for others.
 
For women working in construction:
 
  • Take the next step and don’t be afraid to ask. Get out of your comfort zone. Apply for jobs you don’t think you fully meet the criteria for. Ask the person you admire to be your mentor. Speak up, challenge yourself, take the next step.
 
  • Use your support networks – if you don’t have one, create one. This means family and friends, work colleagues, senior leaders, work networks, networks of other women – find people to support you in work and in life.
 
  • Step up and be a role model for others. Even if you think you aren’t good enough, you are further on than the person just starting out, or the schoolgirl thinking about a career in construction. Be visible to others and help those coming behind you.
 
For CITB NI and the WICN:
 
  • There are a lot of initiatives to support the recruitment of women into the industry and a lot of organisations with initiatives to support them as they progress but there needs to be some coordination – consider how best to coordinate everything that is happening and consider where resources could be pooled to make a bigger impact.
 
  • Consider developing a mentoring scheme for women in the construction industry – mentoring works better if it’s not just in-company. Consider how mentees could be matched with mentors outside their own company and outside the construction industry.
 
Hopefully, this short summary gives you a flavour of some of the key messages from the day.
 
To find out more about the Women in Construction Network or to join, e-mail karen.hunter@citbni.org.uk.