As the construction industry works hard to recruit its target one million workers by 2020, a new career resource pack has been launched to increase the number of girls choosing construction, sponsored by BAM Nuttall and other industry leaders.
The People Like Me in Construction resource was created by WISE, which promotes women in STEM, and is based on research and pilots in schools and with employers. It is for girls aged 11-14 years – the critical age for career decisions - and contains lessons to explore construction roles and tips for teachers and STEM ambassadors on how to help girls explore the industry.
Now WISE is calling for employers and female role models in the construction industry to team up and take advantage of the resource pack and specialist training to deliver People Like Me to more young women across the UK. The People Like Me in Construction resource features one of our Site Engineers, Irosha Gunatunga, and assistant engineer, Rosie Miller, as case- studies and role models to young women.
The People Like Me process gets girls to think about their own personality and how their attributes relate to STEM careers in areas like construction. They are introduced to a variety of women who work in construction and so relate to people in those careers as ‘people like me’.
Steve Fox CBE, chief executive of BAM Nuttall and WISE board member said: “Attracting and maintaining women in STEM careers is an important focus at BAM Nuttall – ensuring a diverse workforce is vital to success in any business. The construction industry is currently going through a huge digital transformation and to solve some of the future issues we’re facing, we need the input and involvement of people from all backgrounds to make this happen. We have done a lot of work behind the scenes and now it is time to branch out to a wider audience.”
Speaking ahead of the event, WISE CEO Helen Wollaston hailed People Like Me in Construction as a step change for the sector saying: “Employers tell us they would employ women if only they would apply. A few simple changes to how roles are described and marketed makes all the difference. We hope employers in the construction sector will use this pack to attract more women for jobs and apprenticeships.”
People Like Me is a revolutionary approach to engaging girls with careers in STEM. It allows girls to use their natural tendency to define themselves by adjectives – such as imaginative, good with numbers or creative – whereas boys tend to describe themselves as an engineer, physicist or scientist. The resource pack translates these descriptions into types of workers – explorer, regulator, persuader or developers – and shows girls how they match up and which careers might be interesting to them.