In March, we launched our Future Leaders Meeting (FLM) a collaborative forum, with a diverse set of skills, providing a platform to discuss all areas of the business and a voice at board level. With representatives from different services across our nationwide locations, having joined the business via varying routes, our next generation is shaping the strategic direction of our partnership.
In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day and the role our talented, young females play in shaping the future of our business and beyond, we chatted to some of our Future Leaders representatives. Megan Whitbread, Electrical Engineer, Jennifer Bell, Mechanical Engineer and Hannah Baxter-Gale, Lighting Designer discuss key topical issues and challenges facing the industry.
The power of opportunity, equality and representation.
Being a female in a male dominated construction industry can be challenging but having role models and females in positions of leadership to look up to is hugely inspiring as you ‘can’t be what you can’t see’.
That’s the view expressed by Hannah and shared by Megan and Jennifer who believe opportunity, equality and representation is key to unlocking the full potential of the female workforce.
A platform for positive change.
“Having the opportunity to be part of a group that is able to make a difference and feed into the strategy of our partnership at Board level really helps to empower not just females, but other apprentices and young people across the business too”, Megan states.
“Positive change starts with diversity of thought and the group strives to improve exactly that” Jennifer adds.
Having the ability to talk to like-minded colleagues, bounce ideas off each-other and connect with fellow apprentices and young engineers within our business, helps to strengthen relationships and encourage opinions and ideas. And most importantly, it makes us feel valued.
Future hopes and goals.
We all started out as newbies once and if we can work together to improve experiences, policies and procedures for apprentices and people to come, that’s a huge achievement.
Amongst other initiatives, our multi-layered mentoring scheme is in place to support and develop all of our people and the FLM builds on this, introducing another platform where our young people can, “see our ideas and thoughts implemented as real change” Hannah says.
Breaking down barriers and removing stigma.
From the group’s perspective, this continues to be a challenge for the industry as a whole. One of the ways they believe to unlock this is by, ‘shifting the “male mentality” so that more women feel accepted and respected in the senior level and decision-making roles that they are performing.
With 15% of our engineering workforce female and 10% of our management roles held by women, we actively encourage and support everyone in our business to become future leaders based solely on skills and approach.
The path to a more diverse and inclusive culture.
The industry is moving in the right direction, however there’s always room for improvement. Through the conversations we have and changes we implement today, we can help to make a difference and build a pathway to a more diverse and inclusive culture across industry.