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Last Spring, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment Commission made an open call on business and individuals to submit clear evidence on how the retention and engagement of women in construction could be achieved. And our director Cristina, in her role of London and South East Chair for NAWIC responded.

On Tuesday the 18th of June, Cristina, her Deputy Chair Marianna Bia and Collaborator Morley Von Sternerg, were invited by the Commission to attended Parliament with representatives from Women in Property, Women into Construction and the Open University to give evidence.

It was a humbling experience and an encouraging sign to see the desire, within the commission, to help drive change in favour of a more diverse workforce to deliver the UK’s Built Environment in the forthcoming years.

The commission will write a paper following further discussions with recommendations but for now, here some of the ideas which were proposed by Cristina on behalf of NAWIC:

  • Affordable training at family/work friendly times

  • Facilitating formalised networking opportunities

  • Knowledge Sharing to benefit SMEs and retention

  • Engagement through visibility & career insight (Image of Women in Construction)

  • Increasing top level Diversity by recruiting beyond our industry

  • Reviewing biased language in contracts

(the National team at NAWIC are working on this)

  • Driving change across House Builders through existing mechanisms such as Section 106

  • Encouraging Tier 1 to support cultural change at SME level

Here some other ideas she particularly liked:

  • Encouraging curiosity through learning DIY

  • The value of clear targets when driving changer (H&S as an example)

  • Finding iconic projects to engage a diverse workforce

  • Student awards programme to highlight emerging talent

  • The value of non executive positions to help companies drive change

  • The desire to support EDI initiatives by government

Cristina was very grateful to the commission for giving NAWIC the opportunity to be part of such a great initiative, specially Maria Coulter BEM (Non Executive Director at CIC) who was also the author of the photos which illustrate this blog post.

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