First Women Awards
I was interested, but not surprised, to read a recent report produced by CareerStructure.com into female employment within the construction sector. They found, for over half of the built environment professionals surveyed, that less than 10% of their team are currently female. This is yet another confirmation that the construction industry still has a long way to go before proving its credentials in equality.
When I was growing up, Lego bricks came in primary colours and no one told me I couldn't build a garage, a rocket, a pirate ship or whatever took my fancy. Although the choice of bricks back then was severely limited, my imagination did not have to be. Now it seems to be the norm to split the building sets Lego market into those deemed appropriate for boys and those for girls.
I was very lucky to have that crucial conversation at the right time and am therefore passionate about trying to inspire others into engineering - especially girls who may not immediately consider it as a career.
Women do need to lean in to their careers. But they need support and self belief to get there in a world where traditional roles of mother/wife/care-giver/household shopper are still manifest.
So what can be done to make more women 'Lean in' and to rise above the social stereotypes so that we have more female role models and ensure that the list of future contenders to appear on our bank notes has a 50:50 split? It is important that women understand that they are not alone in feeling some of the deep-rooted fears and social biases that they experience in the workplace.
I'm a great believer that if we can keep things simple, we should. And trying to address the gender gap is no exception. One of the most successful measures we've introduced at Lloyds Banking Group over the past year is a role models programme. It was a very simple idea but has been phenomenally successful.
How often do you attend a meeting and, thinking that something that is either so obvious or contradictory, you end up not saying it - only to hear someone else make the point and agreement be issued by all around?
Cancer. It's hard to make that a word with any sort of positive association. But in fact it's a word that has changed in meaning. No longer does it mean certain death or disability. Today more than 60% of people will live longer than five years after their treatment has finished.
Here at D-Drill we train them, we look after them and we show them that there is a career progression here for them if they want it. Many of my managers have come up through the ranks having started as an apprentice.