CN and NCE join forces to support women

Sister Publications Building News and New Civil Engineer are joining forces this year to champion the role of women in construction and engineering.

The two publications are celebrating International Women’s Day today with the announcement of their collaboration, titled Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering.

The joint initiative builds on previously separate initiatives of NC and NCE.

Among other activities, NCE championed the achievements of women through its awards event, Recognizing Women in Engineering, which was first held in June 2018. The awards program was supported by sponsor Curtins. NCE is also a member of the BBC’s 50:50 project, which aims to balanced representation of women in the media.

NCmeanwhile, has run its Inspiring Women program of workshops, conferences and webinars since February 2018. Willmott Dixon has sponsored the program since its inception.

The two publications will now work together with a dual mission: to provide networking opportunities and other resources to help women advance in their careers; and helping companies in the sector become better employers for women.

To meet this last objective, NC created the Inspiring Women Pledge in June 2020. It is a voluntary code of practice that companies can adopt to signal their support for women in the industry and to take positive steps to achieve this goal.

Signatories of the Inspiring Women Pledge commit to:

  • Recognize the diversity of perspectives and skills that women bring to the labor market
  • Ensure that HR policies actively promote gender equality
  • Make unconscious bias training mandatory for anyone responsible for selecting others
  • Use inclusive language in recruitment advertisements and job descriptions
  • Establish programs for female employees to support career progression
  • Take steps to close their gender pay gap.

Engineering and construction firm Laing O’Rourke is the latest company to sign up. By announcing his move today, he becomes the first to embrace the pledge as a partnership NC and NCE initiative.

Rae Avatar Barnett, Laing O’Rourke’s people manager in its Europe Hub, said the company is aiming for parity in the number of men and women it employs by 2033, with particular initiatives to improve diversity among workers in on-site positions.

“The goals are ambitious,” Barnett added. “Currently, 25% of our colleagues worldwide are women, with a very low percentage of tradeswomen and technicians working on site. You can see the challenge.

She said adopting the pledge “provides us with the framework to drive change, building on the progress we have made in recent years. Public engagement rightly holds us accountable, and it assures our own employees, potential recruits, customers and partners that we take eliminating bias and creating a workplace seriously. egalitarian.

She said she hopes to work with other pledge signatories in the sector to “provide solutions that will attract, develop and retain more women.”

More than 30 companies have so far become signatories, including Aecom, Arcadis, Costain, Keltbray, Mace, Murphy, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, VolkerWessels and Willmott Dixon.

A full list of signatories as well as further information on the pledgeincluding how to register, is available online.

NCE Editor Claire Smith said: “I’ve seen a lot of change in the industry since I started as an engineering graduate 25 years ago, with a number of women now in leadership positions. .” But she added: “The number of women in leadership positions still does not match the 13% of women we have in the workforce, let alone the 50% of women in society as a whole.

NC editor Lem Bingley said: “I look forward to working with the NCE team on the essential theme of gender equality. We are launching our joint initiative on International Women’s Day, but realize that improving construction and engineering will be a long-term task. We want every day to be a day that women get the recognition and opportunities they deserve.

Bingley added, “It’s great to see Laing O’Rourke so eager to make a difference and signal that intention by embracing the Inspirational Women’s Pledge. I urge other companies to follow his example and make the same equality action promise to their own workforce.

the NCE and NC will collaborate to offer its first joint webinar on March 29. Details to follow.

Alice F. Ponder