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A practical guide to boosting profit

Lucy Alderson

This industry is brilliant at solving problems. 

But one particular problem has been apparent for more than 20 years now – and it’s still unresolved.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are only 36,000 more women working in construction today than there were 20 years ago – when it first started collecting this data.

The proportion of the industry’s workforce that is female has stayed relatively unchanged over the same period, at around 12 per cent.

With persistently low levels of female entrants to the industry, the number of women occupying senior positions is particularly small.

A lack of women across all disciplines and positions is a problem because, quite simply, the industry needs them.

Contractors are like tightrope walkers: treading a fine line between delivering work on time while still making a slender profit (if they’re lucky).

As an industry that often operates on 1-2 per cent margins, boosting the bottom line is critical – something women can do.

According to McKinsey & Company research, companies with the most gender-diverse executive teams are 21 per cent more likely to have above-average profitability compared with those with the least-diverse boards.

The incentive to fix the industry’s gender disparity is there. So what are the solutions we can put in place?

This is exactly what has been discussed as part of CN’s Inspire Me campaign.

Workshops have been held in London and Manchester discussing the main barriers women face climbing the career ladder – and how these can be overcome.

Six main problems were identified, with solutions offered by an expert panel – as detailed in CN’s free-to-read digital report, published today.

Industry leaders such as Landsec head of development (London) Beth West, Mabey CEO Juliette Stacey and Trad Group chief executive Des Moore shared practical measures companies can put in place to ensure they are supporting women into senior roles.

Policies to boost diversity should not be afterthoughts implemented so firms look good in front of clients.

It is possible to set targets, measure progress and change behaviours from the very top to make your business more profitable and more attractive – to customers and prospective employees alike.

Change is possible by understanding solutions. 

Take them on board, and this industry could be a whole lot more profitable in another 20 years’ time.

Read more about CN’s Inspire Me campaign and how to get involved here.

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