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O'Rourke sets views on women

RAY O'ROURKE has written to every member of staff this week explaining his views on women in construction.

The Laing O'Rourke chief executive was reported last week to have said a building site 'is not a place where women fit'.

In this week's memo, Mr O'Rourke said his comments were taken out of context.

He said: 'I need to clarify my position on the employment of women in the industry.

'The reality of the industry today is that it is a tough physical and mental environment which stubbornly retains its old culture and values.

'In this context, I believe that construction sites are not an ideal, much less a suitable environment in which women could work in manual labour jobs.

'I am convinced that we will not attract women in significant numbers into the industry, particularly the trades, until site practices, processes and culture radically change.'