2019 MEDIA PACK Women in Construction UK is the only Construction Magazine in the UK for women. We currently have an audience of 24,400 which is a rapidly growing figure. Every bi-monthly issue of Women in Construction UK provides an update of news, current and upcoming projects, industry comment, training, interviews, articles, features, event news and product information â€“ covering all areas of importance to our readers. Women in Construction UK Magazine is the most costeffective way to target decision makers within the industry and promote your brand.
Women in Construction UK speaks to Alisha Petts, a 22 year old Trainee Building Control Surveyor, about her experience to date in the Construction Industry My dream has always been to work in the construction industry as it is something that has appealed to me from a very young age. After dropping out of my first year at full time university, I was determined to make it into construction via another route. I instead applied for a trainee role where I attend university once a week and work the other four. Sitting in a classroom full time just wasn’t for me and the site work is what I was after. My role as a trainee building control surveyor varies and no two days are ever the same. I attend numerous site inspections a day to make sure the building work complies, which is a great way of getting hands on experience. I will also receive construction drawings from architects which I am to check for compliance, which helps with technical side of things. I love the plan checking aspect as it challenges your knowledge and pushes you into researching things that you perhaps didn’t already know. My job is a great combination as I am able to apply the knowledge I get in the office to the situations on site and vice versa. It’s also an exciting career to follow as you know that every day will be different and that you are constantly able to learn something new.
Women in Construction As a woman who works in construction, I have had a range of opinions and experiences relating to my gender. I have been working as a building control surveyor for roughly two years now and previous to this job role, I can honestly say that I was a little apprehensive for what was in store for me being a woman and working within what people still class as a “man’s world” – construction.
My Role My role at work revolves around ensuring that a builders work complies with the building regulations. This means I have to go on site, check their work and let them know if anything needs changing. Truthfully, when I first started this job, that seemed like a daunting idea. Telling builders whether their work is right or wrong – uh oh, I thought. Thankfully I was wrong. Now of course there have been a few minor comments made regarding the fact that “what? A woman building inspector?” has entered their site, but nonetheless, I was expecting this. I simply let them know that it’s 2018 and that they need to keep up with
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Readership the times. There have also been times where patronising comments have been made. For example, I attended a site visit for a rear extension and the builder pointed at the steel and said in a very degrading voice, ‘do you know what that is?’. I have also walked onto a site where the builder has asked me if I am there to clean! It’s times like this that I feel the old fashioned view of construction being a ‘man’s world’ still exists. Still, I try to just shrug off any comment that is made as this is a minority and doesn’t happen often. Also, more and more women are working jobs that would only ever have been deemed as ‘men’s work’ several decades ago so builders who do share this opinion had better get used to it – quickly Experiences on Site The amount of support I receive on site from builders is something I definitely was not expecting. As a trainee, going on site can be difficult. This can be made even more intimidating when you’re a 5ft 3 woman, about to face builders who have been working their trade for forty odd years. As my duty of a building inspector, I am to check their work for compliance and to advise where necessary. I thought this scenario up to be way worse than it actually is, as actually the support I receive is something I never expected. If, as a trainee, I am stuck with something (which can often happen), most builders have no problem with me asking a question. No sexist remarks made and no patronising comments, they’re
simply just happy to help. This type of attitude resembles a huge change for women in construction and is the attitude we need for even more women to work within this field. Apart from the odd chat up line you’re faced with, most builders in today’s modern society are respectful and don’t think twice about the fact that it’s a woman advising them on what to do next.
Times are Changing Going back to even just 20 or 30 years ago, I can imagine working within construction as a woman was tough. I am lucky enough to start my career at a time where the industry is more accepting and I believe that this is an exciting time for any female who works or wants to work amongst this industry. Due to the fact more and more women are undertaking roles in the realm of construction, means that change will keep happening, and that the old fashioned idea of men dominating this world will slowly but surely change. Women aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and we shouldn’t be held back from our goals and ambitions solely because of our gender. This is a generation where women are no longer seen as a part of the background, but are instead putting themselves forward to play important roles in construction. I personally feel that although we still have a way to go for equality in construction, we are on the right path to securing the change needed and to stand as a more diverse and accepting industry.
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Deborah Rowe | Committee member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction group (CIMCIG) Deborah Rowe committee member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction group (CIMCIG) has been in the Construction Industry for nearly 30 years, we find out about the change and challenges she has seen in this time. Tell us about your experience as a woman in the construction industry and the roles that you have taken on. I originally started as a technical editor at CIBSE, then became Lighting Division Secretary, and would often be the only woman in the room at a meeting or conference. I considered building services engineering, or facilities management, as the next step but, in the absence of a decent mentor, I got waylaid by marketing. One postgrad marketing diploma, and MCIM, later, I started my construction marketing career at a subsidiary of High Point Rendel. Over the years, I’ve worked in academic publishing, professional services and professional associations, almost always with a connection to construction, civil engineering and the built environment. I finally took everything I’d learned and applied it to working for myself as a marketing consultant and technical writer. My first client was ICE Conferences and I’ve been happily working for myself, as Sheba Marketing, for nearly 20 years(!). For my sins, and as a nod to giving something back, I’m on the organising committee for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) and I’ve been on the judging panel for the Construction Marketing Awards in recent years. What challenges you have faced in your career and how you overcame them? Probably the biggest challenge has been getting the industry to take marketing seriously as a strategic business tool, rather than just a tactical tool that ‘produces leaflets’. Construction marketing is not about quick fixes – it’s an important part of the bigger picture that achieves the strategic goals. As a Construction Marketing Awards judge, it’s been reassuring to see the strategic elements reflected in the high quality of the entries submitted and those going on to win.
Staying up-to-date in the fast-changing environment that is construction marketing, is very important to me, and I’ve always taken responsibility for my own professional development. Knowledge is power – I don’t expect to know everything, but I do expect to know where to look for answers. Deborah’s additional thoughts: The positives of working in the construction industry. Construction and the built environment is a great industry to be in. I’ve been in and out of it (but mostly in) for nearly 30 years and I can see that things have changed. There’s still a long way to go but there are many more women, and women of colour, visibly working on high-profile projects at every level. It really does make me proud when I see TV programmes that show the exciting side of the industry, like the one on the Shard, or see a full feature in Vogue on the women working on Crossrail. OK, it was a fashion piece but it was about real women in construction! That wouldn’t have happened even five years ago. The point is that these things give people an insight into what makes construction tick – warts and all – and they are surprised… and interested. Your views on what the industry needs to do to help attract and retain more women. From conversations I’ve had with other women in the industry, I’d say a better
attitude to flexible working would help. The ability to work compressed hours, or working from home on occasion, would be a great help to many people – not just women. Maybe some help with professional development, for those who’ve taken time out of the industry, to keep them topped up… so that it’s not such a shock to the confidence when they come back. We can do a better job of making people more aware of what a great and varied industry this is to work in – not just in the trades but across the board. People tend to forget that there are marketers, financiers, project managers and administrators, in the industry as well – those roles can be as rewarding in construction and the built environment as they are in retail for example. We just need to shout more about the roles, the projects and the opportunities. There are some great initiatives out there, and CIMCIG is trying to find a way to make the information centrally available so that more people can get involved. It needs to come from within the industry. Finally, address the gender pay gap. Nobody wants to hear that their male colleague, with comparable or less experience, is earning more than they are. It’s a no-brainer – stop paying what you can get away with. Pay people what they are worth, encourage them to have a decent work-life balance, and encourage them to develop professionally and personally, and most of them will stick around.
These days, I tend to work directly with decision-makers in SMEs, who have a specific requirement and the wherewithal to make things happen. Generally, I’ve found that organisations are more likely to listen to a consultant, than an employee – which is ridiculous. I don’t know, perhaps it helps to focus the mind when someone is charging by the day…
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Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 xx
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MENTAL HEALTH FOCUS Breaking mental health stigma must start at the top of the organisation, says the British Safety Council Over the last two years, mental health has become a key boardroom issue in Britain, but the gap between the perception of how much has been achieved and the reality is still wide. The rhetoric about mental health used by senior business leaders is not always being translated into tangible actions. At present, 58 per cent of them think that their organisations support their staff, while only 42 per cent of employees with no managerial responsibility say that staff with mental health issues were being supported (Mental Health at Work 2018 report). “The stigma surrounding mental health problems still exists, although to a lesser extent than before,” said Dame Carol Black, expert government advisor on health and work and a passionate campaigner for better mental health, in her interview with the British Safety Council. “Many people believe that their professional development and career progression will be compromised if they admit to suffering or having experienced mental health issues. One of the ways to stop this is for the chief executive and senior managers in a company to talk about it, rather than brush it under the carpet. Real progress can be made if somebody high up in the organisation, who has experienced mental health problems, is willing to discuss it.” The human and financial costs of mental ill-health are huge: • Every week, more than 100 people take their own lives in the UK (source: Mind). • 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems lose their jobs each year (source: Thriving at Work report) • The cost of poor mental health to the UK economy has been estimated at between £74 - £99 billion per year, according to the report Thriving at Work. Published in October 2017, “These figures reflect the enormity and complexity of the task ahead of us,” said James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind. “We need the commitment at the top of organisations to drive a radical change in workplace culture across the UK. At Mates in Mind, we believe that only when companies and regulators go beyond tackling a crisis of mental ill-health and start preventing it in the first place, will a long-lasting transformation of workplace mental health begin. “Working in collaboration with industry partners, Mates in Mind, of which the British Safety Council is a proud supporter and one of the founding partners, has developed a comprehensive mental health programme, based on the principle that there is no health without mental health. Mates in Mind is now working with more than 200 organisations across the construction and construction-related industries, creating better awareness and challenging the stigma associated with poor mental health. This message is now reaching more than 187,000 workers.” Working in partnership with Mates in Mind, the British Safety Council has developed much needed tools to help people start and manage difficult conversations about mental health. Its mental health training courses, include: Start the Conversation – a 45-minute session that aims to get employees thinking about mental health and talking about it.
Mates in Mind striving alongside B&CE to transform apprentices’ mental health Having been awarded the B&CE’s Mowlem Award grant in 2018, Mates in Mind have launched their Apprentices’ Mental Health Survey to support improvements in the mental health of apprentices across the construction and related industries Joscelyne Shaw, Director of Strategy at Mates Mind, said: “Mates in Mind are striving to improve apprentices’ mental health because we understand that the challenges of poor mental health are affecting young people across our industries. “As reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14, and threequarters by mid-20s. Moreover, poor mental health can have an impact on future generations, contributing further to cycles of inequality and ill health that may run through some families. Using the funding provided by the B&CE, Mates in Mind have launched their Apprentices’ Mental Health Survey. The results of the survey will provide us with insights and an evidence base about apprentices’ mental health from which we will develop a programme tailored to their needs and responding to their concerns. To support our current apprentices’ initiative Mates in Mind are also promoting a poster created by Colin Orr, the British Safety Council’s 2018 poster competition winner, whose ‘Image of wellbeing’ illustrates how depression among young people can manifest itself. “With our work across the construction industry now reaching over 188,000 workers through our 210 Supporter organisations, we are striving to provide apprentices and young people with the best starting point at the beginning of their careers,” says Joscelyne Shaw. Mates in Mind would like to appeal to all UK employers, colleges and apprentices’ schemes to encourage their apprentices to take part in our survey. We will be using it to support our work to transform the industry’s approach to mental health.
Manage the Conversation – a three-hour workshop for line managers to give them the skills and confidence to have conversations about mental health. Mental Health First Aid – a two-day course that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. The British Safety Council also offers a range of wellbeing courses to help organisations with the development of a positive mental health culture, such as Resilience, Stress Awareness and Managing Stress training.
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Caddick Construction lays foundations for building a healthy and happy workforce - thanks to hero partnership Caddick Construction has agreed a partnership with health and wellness provider hero which will see all of its 140 employees benefit from a tailored health and wellbeing programme. The bespoke wellbeing package covers both mental and physical health and includes one-to-one health checks and screenings, wellbeing training for all direct line managers, mental health first aid training and ongoing workshops throughout 2019. Managing Director Andrew Murray from Caddick Construction said: “Our employees are our greatest asset and we want to ensure they feel valued and supported. We are thrilled to be leading the way when it comes to mental resilience and wellbeing in the workplace issues which should not and cannot be ignored. As employers we take our responsibility to our
team members seriously and want to support them in as many ways possible to ensure they are both healthy and happy inside and outside of work.” He added: “The hero team impressed us with the depth and level of support they provide behind the scenes. I’m confident this project will deliver tangible results for our staff that will enhance and improve the health and wellbeing our employees, whether office based or on site.” Joe Gaunt, CEO of hero said: “It’s always rewarding to see businesses waking up to the fact they play a large and important part in the health and wellbeing of their team. It’s great to see Caddick Construction leading the way and championing wellness at work in such a bold and committed manner. The ‘Mindset’ programme of events have been purposely designed to offer comprehensive screenings
and health checks that cover everything from blood pressure to cholesterol and blood tests too.” “We have been working with Caddick to understand the current ‘state of the workforce’ enabling us to create a bespoke programme, which will deliver results and have immediate and long-term effects. The hero Discovery Report demonstrated clear indicators of specific support around what the Caddick team wanted to see. And, as a result, we were able to design a bespoke and tailored programme perfect for Caddick employees.” 2019 marks hero’s second year and since its launch in May 2018 it has acquired two businesses and established exciting and innovative partnerships with organisations such as Moda, Les Mills, MyZone and Jamie Peacock.
When is the best time to exercise? As well as being good for our physical health, exercise has a huge potential to enhance our mental health and wellbeing. Regular physical activity naturally boosts mood as the brain releases endorphins which are ‘feel good hormones’, which subsequently can make us work better. With long working hours, leading to stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and pressure coping with deadlines, it is no surprise 41% of people working in the Architecture industry are wanting businesses to do more to support their physical and mental wellbeing. Furthermore, 35% of employees in the sector said they would take up exercise initiatives if their employer provided them. Whilst the best time for a workout often depends on commitments and personal preference, it’s important to ensure exercise regimes complement our work life balance.
Don’t exercise before bed
Head of Coaching at Westfield Health, Mark Pinches, provides tips for employees on the most effective times to exercise.
“Try to avoid doing any physical activity at least two hours before going to bed as exercise will increase heart rate and core body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep. For those who struggle to find another time, keep exercise light such as yoga or Pilates and leave high intensity workouts for the weekend.”
At least 150 minutes a week
Stick to a routine
“Doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is enough to see a positive impact on performance and energy levels whilst at work. Exercising builds focus, releases stress and improves mood, so it’s important to try to fit in at least 20 minutes into our routine each day. “For those short of time, commuting on foot or taking walking meetings can be a great way to achieve this without letting work compromise. Employers can encourage exercise in the workplace by implementing schemes and activities such as sports days or step challenges.”
“There is no ‘set’ time to exercise as it is often dependant on the individual and what works for their lifestyle, however it’s important to try to stick to the same time every day. Try to find a realistic time to exercise instead of struggling to achieve something that isn’t sustainable. A great way to do this is to stay consistent with the time of workouts and treat them as ‘unbreakable appointments’ to minimise cancelling.”
A little exercise everyday
“Even if you take regular exercise, sitting down for hours on end can have damaging and long-lasting health effects. The human body is at its best when it is moving so it’s important to take regular breaks when at work to stimulate blood flow and stretch muscles. Not only will these breaks help improve our physical wellbeing, it can help to increase productivity and reduce absenteeism at work.”
“Whether it’s going to a gym class or a having a kick around at lunch, getting into the routine of doing some kind of exercise every day is a good way to keep active. Even if you don’t feel like it, exercising despite being tired will help build resilience and self-discipline, traits that are bound to be of use in the workplace.”
Stretch your legs
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 xx