City Building sets up group to encourage female leadership


Hazel Smith, Lynsey Scott, Karen Fleming, Robyn Doyle, Karen Morton, Shona Gibbons, Shelley McGill and Lynsey Chambers at the launch of the first meeting

The group, Gender Equality in the Workplace, will focus on creating a pathway into leadership for female employees across the business.

It is tasked with taking the next step towards boosting female representation at all levels within City Building. The firm said that it already recruits ten times the industry standard of female apprentices; the group aims to support the development of female employees into future senior roles.

Apprentice training manager Lynsey Chambers is chairing the working group. She said: “We have found that whilst recruiting women into the construction industry can be difficult, the real challenge and where the most impact can be made is within promoting women into positions of leadership. Progression is a much longer-term challenge when looking to address the gender pay gap and this group will be tasked with researching and recommending the changes needed to tackle any barriers in place for women within our industry.

“Our group is made up of women from every area of the business, from front-line tradespeople to designers and quantity surveyors, ensuring that this is not a top-down move but more to understand real life experiences – where we are all working together to make City Building the best it can be.

“Ultimately, we hope to create a pathway for female leaders into the senior management team and build a succession plan to encourage a steady stream of the hard-working and talented women within City Building.”

One of the drivers of the gender pay gap is that women are not progressing in the workplace as fully as their talents would allow, said City Building. The group will examine the current procedures and behaviours through a series of interviews with colleagues across the business. It will then make recommendations for management to implement.

Executive director Alan Burns said: “Whilst we are market leaders within the construction industry, in terms of female employees, we know there is still much to be done to fully realise the potential of a more gender diverse company. It is absolutely critical for us as a business that the focus was not simply on newly recruited young women but that we examine our practices at all levels of the business.

“We want women, and indeed men, to feel they can progress in their career with us at any age. The working group will focus on recent graduates, trainees and apprentices as much as it will on those who have been with the firm for years but are looking to add to their skill-set.”

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