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Just 4% of senior industry roles taken by women

Women occupy just 4 per cent of senior roles in the UK’s biggest listed construction firms, a new report has found.

The Woman Count report on female representation in FTSE 350 firms found that women made up just 4 per cent of all P&L positions at the 20 largest listed construction companies. 

The report, which was compiled by gender diversity research group The Pipeline, categorised P&L roles as chief executives, managing directors, directors, chief finance officer, presidents and chief operating officers.

Construction was the sector with joint second-lowest representation of women in P&L roles across the FTSE 350, level with manufacturing and engineering and ahead of only mining and quarrying.

The report, which analysed firms including Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Kier, also looked at the number of women on construction firms’ executive committees.

In total, women occupied only 13 per cent of executive roles among the 20 industry firms, and made up only 7 per cent of all executive director roles on the boards.

Other companies deemed as construction companies included housebuilders such as Barratt Developments, Bellway Homes and Redrow, and materials companies such as Polypipe and CRH.

The construction industry recorded some increases in representation, with the proportion of construction firms with executive committees that were at least 25 per cent female hitting 35 per cent, up from 6 per cent last year.

However, the report found that 35 per cent of the industry firms analysed had no women at all in their executive committees.

The Woman Count report found that the proportion of women on executive committees across the full FTSE 350 list was 16 per cent, the same percentage as two years ago.

Men occupy 95 per cent of P&L roles across the UK economy and 92 per cent of all executive positions on FTSE 350 boards.

Chairman of Essentra, McCarthy & Stone and Forterra Paul Lester said: “The Pipeline’s research, Women Count 2018, is a timely reminder for the engineering, construction and infrastructure industries of how important it is to keep our focus on increasing the number of women in senior roles.

”Not least because 5 per cent greater profit is on the table for those companies that do have at least 25 per cent women on their executive committee.

”With the battle for top talent as fierce as ever and The Pipeline’s poll confirming young people believe all male or male-dominated workplaces should be a thing of the past, companies who achieve better gender diversity will keep their competitive edge.”

Inspire Me

Construction News this year launched Inspire Me, a campaign to encourage and support women to seek and achieve leadership roles in the sector.

This year we have held workshops in London and Manchester and will be in Birmingham on 11 October, followed by a half-day conference at the CN Summit in November.

As well as the events, CN has reported extensively on gender diversity including a women’s special issue in March. Visit for more.

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